Monday, April 5, 2010

Hunter Canyon Trail

The Hunter Canyon Trail is located 7.5 miles west along Kane Creek Road, west of Highway 191 in Moab in southeast Utah.

 It is a 4 mile round trip up a canyon with a flowing stream and visits two arches. The Hunter Canyon Trail is similar to the Negro Bill Canyon Trail in length and habitat. Hunter Canyon is also the start of the route to Kane Creek Canyon and Hurrah Pass.

Hunter Canyon is narrow with steep sandstone walls. In spring there is a modest flow of water with frequent small pools. The somewhat braided trail crosses the stream many times. There are some rock cairn trail markers but mostly hikers follow the footprints of previous hikers. In some places the footprints lead to dead ends and some short backtracking is needed. 

There are some large alcoves along the way but there isn't any apparent sign of ruins. Although there is water in this canyon, there isn't much floor space for farming and most of the alcoves don’t catch the sun for winter warmth, Information at the trail head mentions that beavers are active in Hunter Canyon.

About 0.5 miles down the trail, the large Hunter Arch appears high on the right. A little blue sky can be seen from both down canyon and up canyon without any climbing. The creek bottom has some Cottonwood Trees and Tamarisks. I saw some of the evergreen Fremont Barberry in the middle part of the trail. Many of the trail segments are sandy and there is a lot of Prickly Pear Cactus along the way.

About 2 miles down the trail there is a side canyon on the right with Curious Arch visible high on the right. The trail only goes a short distance past the Curious Arch side canyon. My hike took 2:30 hours on a 60 F early April day and I carried and drank 2 liters of water.

There were only a few hikers on the trail when I hiked. Otherwise, it was a busy weekend with many campers at the trail head area and many 4WD vehicles seeking the trails and following the Kane Creek Road toward Hurrah Pass.

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