The Best Hikes in Southeast

688 Triplog Reviews in the Southeast
Most recent of 191 deeper Triplog Reviews
6.2 mi • 1,432 ft aeg
Spanish Bottom Trail to Dollhouse
A very interesting hike at the end of a flat water river trip, starting from the river camp at Upper Spanish Bottom and hiking up into the Dollhouse, in Canyonlands National Park. I had not done the hike before, although I'd been to that river camp several times. In the past, I didn't bring hiking boots and poles, which these days, I actually need. This time I brought those items. It was worth the effort, and a much easier hike than I'd been given to believe, once you have beaten through the brush and tall grass down in the flats. This was not there last time I hiked along the flats. The trail past the old camps of Middle and Lower Spanish Bottom has basically disappeared.

We did this on a layover day, our last day, after paddling 5 days down Meander Canyon of the Colorado River, from Potash Landing (aka Jackson Landing) to Upper Spanish Bottom. Here's a link to the paddle trip: [ photoset ]

The start of the trail is also the same place you camp when waiting for the jetboat to take you back upriver. This is whether or not you came down the Green River (Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons) or down the Colorado (Meander Canyon).

It's easily possible to hike to a granary (Granary Trail) or to Beehive Arch. We didn't want to hike that far. I've seen a bazillion granaries. As for the arch, that is quite a bit longer hike.

The jetboat service is Tex's Riverways. It's expensive, but worth it. Backpackers can also use this service to access the Dollhouse and other points along the Colorado River.
2.23 mi • 206 ft aeg
Windows and Double Arch
We visited Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Arches requires on line passes to get into the park and at such a late notice we could only get passes for times after 3PM. This worked out good for us, we would do Canyonlands, which doesn't require passes, in the morning and Arches in the evening (they are literally just across the highway from each other). Visiting arches in the late afternoon worked out good because it is cooler and they don't close the gates at night.

Double Arch and the windows is a short trail and when combined taking the user trail to the east of the windows makes for a nice short hike. Turret Arch is right next to the windows so we threw that in too. This is an easy walk with the less used trail to the east side a little hard to follow but every so often there are some cairns. Lots of people on the main trails.
2 mi • 320 ft aeg
This hike was to save the day after bailing on an earlier hike. Things weren’t looking good as the foot bridge was out. Luckily the water level was low enough to find a rock crossing. Onward and upward to a spectacular view. It was like the area below was an amphitheater, complete with stadium seating (see pictures) A little searching and found the Maiden. Success !
8.57 mi • 1,247 ft aeg
Devil's Garden Primitive Loop is one of our favorite hikes in the Moab area - we do it almost every time we visit the area.

This year I decided to take all of the side trips along the loop. After taking the short side trip for photographing Landscape Arch, I continued around the loop and went to Navajo Arch and Partition Arch. Continuing the loop again, we went to Black Arch and then Double O Arch.

I then hiked to Dark Angel. If you're going to skip a side trip, this is the one to skip. While I did hike all the way to Dark Angel and then hiked up some nearby fins to find a favorable vantage point from which to photograph it, I ended up using a shot that I took on the trail where Dark Angel is framed by a pair of trees. You might do just as well to photograph it with a long lens from the Double O area.

Continuing on, I split off again and took shots of Private Arch from both sides.

Finally, towards the end of the hike, I went to see Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch, something I had not done in many years. Pine Tree Arch was more interesting than I had remembered.

This is a good hike, though it's always sort of busy.
2.5 mi • 810 ft aeg
U-Turn Canyon - Arches National Park
U-Turn Canyon is an easy technical canyon in Arches National Park. Parking is at the Park Avenue Trailhead and you finish by hiking up Park Avenue back to the Trailhead.

We got the beta on this canyon from the book, "Moab Canyoneering: Exploring Technical Canyons around Moab" by Derek Wolfe. It's a well written guidebook which told us exactly what to expect on this route.

I had read on SummitPost that a 70 meter rope might be required to do the final rappel, so we brought a 60 meter rope plus a 60 meter pull cord. It turned out, however that the final rappel was doable as a double line rappel with just the 60 meter rope. This turned out to be a good thing, I think, since my daughter doesn't have a lot of experience with rappelling and doing a double line rappel provides more friction than a single line.

So, anyway...

The approach was up a sandstone ramp / dihedral. I went up first and my daughter spotted my wife on some of the harder moves. As usual, my daughter cruised though all of the class three terrain, making it look easy.

There are four rappels - the first three are fairly short and at least two can be bypassed by downclimbing. We did all four of the rappels because I wanted my daughter to get rappel experience. The final 95 foot rappel has a few free sections. My daughter had trouble with these - she found that the waist belt on her harness constricted her abdomen making it hard to breathe. I think the weight of her backpack probably had something to do with this issue. (She was carrying the pull cord.) She used her climbing harness and has never had this problem when being lowered on overhanging walls at the gym.

My wife was very happy with this outing - a good thing, since her previous technical canyoneering outing with me (Minnow Canyon last October) was really scary. My daughter enjoyed it too, though she had more fun doing the scrambling / climbing than the rappelling.

We took our time on this route and spent some time wandering around taking in the views. This increased the distance that we hiked somewhat over the 1.5 miles listed in our guidebook.
5.52 mi • 1,350 ft aeg
This one was surprisingly incredible. I had done no research and only knew that 9L wanted to check this out. What a pleasant surprise to find an extraordinarily constructed trail through incredible geology and amazing views!

The river is a worthy destination, but what makes this hike most enjoyable is simply admiring how the trail was built as you zig zag through the numerous layers of geology between the rim and the river. Like other historic trails, it's truly a pleasure to envision the original builders as they mapped out the best route and solved the puzzle.

A few miles outside of Mexican Hat, this is in the middle of nowhwere, but I enjoyed it so much that I could absolutely see myself stopping here while driving by just to hike this one again, and I'd recommend as much to anybody else who can squeeze a few hours out of their travels through southeastern Utah.
5.5 mi • 1,350 ft aeg
The Honaker Trail came onto my radar in March 2017 when staying at Goosenecks State Park. I returned home and did some research and thought it looked like a fun route with some history. It was originally developed by miners to access the San Juan River in the early part of the 1900’s. I expected the route to be in bad shape but was pleasantly surprised at the good trail conditions overall.

Chumley and I spent four days exploring Canyonlands and stayed at Goosenecks on our final night. We woke early on Monday and drove over to the Honaker Trailhead. The dirt road is in good condition with a short hairy section roughly a mile from the TH. If you don’t like this, you can walk that final mile. We continued on and parked at the upper parking area. There is a fire ring for anyone that wants to camp here.

The trail immediately drops off the rim and has several switchbacks as you descend. We were surprised to find good overall trail conditions. The route appears to get regular use. We continued down and the trail makes a long traverse before descending through a break with amazing trail construction. Once below the break the trail makes a long traverse before looping back and making the final push to the bottom of the canyon. Once Chumley and I were down below we walked to a bend and then took a short break. From there, we started the hike up and worked our way out of the canyon.

This was a great hike and I’m really glad we spent the time to see it for ourselves. This is a great option for people making a layover to Utah.

3.68 mi • 600 ft aeg
After our morning hike to the confluence overlook we opted to check out the Peekaboo Trail. This can be hiked to from Lost Canyon on the west end, or from the Horse Canyon/Salt Creek 4x4 road on the east end. This road is gated closed and you must get a permit from the visitor center to gain access to the gate code. The reason why is you'll need a beefy 4x4 vehicle that can handle deep sand, and especially deep water. There are numerous water crossings in the 2.5 miles of driving and one stretch of a couple hundred yards where the water is 30" deep. Keep your foot on the gas and whatever you do, don't stop, and you'll be fine! :)

The old Horse Canyon road is now closed, so continuing upstream to a variety of archaeological sites now requires foot travel. I'm not sure if the road opens in other seasons, it looked to be pretty permanent.

Once we arrived at the trailhead, we quickly headed up to the arch and adjacent petroglyph site before errantly continuing down into Salt Creek. We realized our error and backtracked to the Peekaboo trail which traversed around to the coolest break we encountered on the whole trip. The NPS has installed a ladder in a narrow crack of rock that you climb 25 feet to reach the next level.

From here, the views open up revealing endless varieties of red and white sandstone geology, intermittently cut by green vegetated canyons. We proceeded in, out, and around a few drainages and peninsulas before deciding to call it a day and head back to the truck.

We did see one other group on this hike, but it's a bit of a haul from the paved trailheads, so I don't think Peekaboo gets much visitation. But it would be a great out n back dayhike for anybody backpacking in Lost Canyon or Squaw Canyon for sure.
10.98 mi • 1,763 ft aeg
After backpacking we set up camp at nearby Indian Creek and headed out the next morning on a hike to the confluence.

This is a great trail with excellent views, more amazing geology, and the added bonus of seeing where the Green River joins the Colorado. With spring snowmelt in full swing, the mathematics of art was fully at play. Not only does Red + Green = Brown, but Brown + Brown = Brown too! It might be fun to see this when the colors of the rivers were significantly different, but it was an impressive viewpoint nonetheless.

I might have to make a point of visiting more Colorado River confluences along it's course. :-k

It's an out n back hike, so we turned around and returned the way we came, passing 2 or 3 other groups who were similarly impressed that a maintained NPS trail with paved access saw so little hiker traffic.
10.76 mi • 1,708 ft aeg
After our three day backpacking trip, Chumley and I car camped in Indian Creek. Our plan for today were two day hikes and then exit the park and head south to Goosenecks for car camping. We drove over to the parking area and started hiking around mid-morning.

The trail drops a couple hundred feet into a wash and immediately climbs up the other side. We knew this would be a chore on the return. The next couple of miles are a mix of trail and following cairns over slick rock. There are several very cool geologic sections and several pot holes had water from rain two days earlier. Prepare for a dry hike, we got lucky. We set a moderate pace and made good time. The trail becomes much easier roughly 3-4 miles in and we found ourselves at the overlook soon after.

The views of the confluence of the Green River and the Colorado River was a real treat. Both rivers were slightly brown but you could see the mix. It was really cool in person. We tried a couple of different viewpoints and took a short break. From there we cruised back to the trailhead and headed on to a different hike.

I'm really glad we spent the time to do this hike. The hiking is rugged but not overwhelming. Keep an eye on high temps this would be a tough hike when it's over 90 degrees.

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