The Kane Gulch Experience
Utah’s canyon country is rugged and beautiful. It can be inviting and a little scary. The views and history draw you in to discover what is hidden around the next bend. The lack of trails, signs, and distinctive landmarks can make hiking a challenge. Luckily Kane Gulch offers visitors a rustic hiking experience while making it fairly certain that you can’t get lost.
Many people make the hike a multi-day backpack trip but it is also a good day trip. You can find Kane Gulch just south of Natural Bridges National Monument on HWY 261. There is a Ranger Station on the east side of the road. To get hiking simply park at the ranger station, pay your $2 per person day use fee, and cross the street to the trailhead.
The canyon starts out wide and the trail is a little over grown but fairly easy to follow. As you head down you will see the canyon growing deeper and narrower. The trail disappears from time to time where people typically walk down the sandy center of the canyon. Eventually, you will find some areas that look impassible. In these spots there are trails to one side or the other that lead you up and over the obstruction. We hiked just after a few days of rain so we spent a lot of time going up and down the canyon walls, trying to keep our feet dry.
As you hike you will find pools of water, vertical rock walls, wild flowers, cacti, natural arches and Native American ruins. On our hike we didn’t quite make it to the arch and ruins but still encountered some beautiful landscapes and natural water features.
As for getting lost, yes you could so you must pay attention, but in general if you stay in the canyon then you will be fine.