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Rock hopping may be required
This description is along Dane Canyon from the Dane Canyon intersection with the U Bar Trail to the intersection with the Barbershop Trail. Travel can be from either direction, but for this description, it is from the U Bar Trail. There is no trail along this creek, but there are areas where game/human routes have made walking easy.
At Dane Creek along the U Bar Trail, head upstream. There are level areas off to one side or the other along this creek in many places that make walking easier; take advantage of this crossing over as needed. At no point on this hike did I come across obstacles that required me to climb up the sides of the canyon to get around them. This may not be true in higher water conditions.
During the summer, the canyon is lush and green, and the scenery is outstanding. If you are a photo buff, allow extra time to fool around with the camera. The upper reaches of this route have some short sandstone ledges/cliffs that make for interesting pictures. If you are “vewy vewy quiet”, you might come across elk, deer, or bear. At mile 1.25, there is a small canyon entering from the left (East), and that will lead up to Dane Cabin and spring; this could be an exit point back up to the U Bar Trail of the Cabin Loop Trail system. At 2.4 miles, Bill McClintock Draw enters again from the left (East), and this is also a possible exit point, this time back to the Barbershop Trail of the Cabin Loop Trail system. Another exit point is 4.1 miles in, an unnamed canyon coming in again from the left, and this will also lead back to the Barbershop Trail. Push on another mile (5.1 miles), and Dane Canyon crosses the Barbershop Trail. For this route, the elevation gain on Dane Creek is 345 feet, but it is hardly noticed because you are consistently admiring the views.
You can do Dane Canyon Upper the easy way or the hard way, depending on when you do it. When the canyon creek is running high, it can be difficult because of the amount of side canyon traversing done to avoid obstacles in the stream. When the creek is dry, it is far easier to walk but far less interesting and scenic. Picking a time when there is good water flow but not too deep is ideal. A summer day during the monsoons season is great but pick one between storms. On the trip I did, it was just two days after a very large storm; the water in the creek had time to recede to a manageable level.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.