discovering God's creation

Sand Bench Trail Zion

March 17, 2017 by Don Axford

The Sand Bench Trail is a relatively unused trail in the Scenic Zion Canyon Drive. It is used for horse trail rides from April to October. The best time for hiking is outside this time frame as the sandy trail … Read the rest

Checkerboard Loop Trail

December 8, 2015 by Don Axford

This is a remote trek into the Zion wilderness on the East side of Zion National Park. The route takes you south from SR9 about 2 miles along the drainage on the west side of checkerboard mesa. The loop route … Read the rest

Many Pools, Zion

April 15, 2015 by Don Axford

Many Pools is a beautiful trail up a broad slickrock valley with numerous water pools along the route. In the authors opinion this is one of the nicest trails in Zion. From the head of the Many Pools trail you … Read the rest

Yellow Knolls, Red Cliffs

March 17, 2015 by Don Axford

The Yellow Knolls Trail travels through a scenic valley with beautiful checkerboard style slickrock hills on both sides.

Trail Rating

Overall rating = moderate

Distance: 5 miles return including some side diversions to explore the slickrock – moderate
Elevation gain: … Read the rest

Rock Field, Zion East

December 11, 2014 by Don Axford

This is a remote trek into the wilderness on the East side of Zion National Park. Travelling South from SR9 you reach an interesting rock field about 2 miles in. The canyon of the East Fork of the Virgin River … Read the rest

Capitol Gorge, Capitol Reef

March 5, 2014 by Don Axford

Capitol Gorge is a beautiful canyon hike through the Waterpocket Fold easily travelled by families. This canyon is mostly level walking with sheer canyon walls.

Along the way are two side hikes, one to a viewpoint overlooking the Golden Throne, … Read the rest

Cohab Canyon, Capitol Reef

February 26, 2014 by Don Axford

The Cohab Canyon is a beautiful hike with amazing rock formations, high walls, and side slot canyons.

This canyon runs from the Fruita campground at Capitol Reef National Park, easterly to where it exits onto highway 24 near the Hickman … Read the rest

Grand Wash, Capitol Reef

February 24, 2014 by Don Axford

Grand Wash is a beautiful gorge that cuts its way through the upper portion of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park. Originally it was used by wagons that travelled from the Freemont River to Highway 24, 4.5 miles … Read the rest

Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef

February 24, 2014 by Don Axford

Two miles east of the Capitol Reef visitor center, the trailhead to Hickman Bridge offers hikers an easy, spectacularly scenic trek up to a large natural arch.

The Hickman Bridge Trail is about 1.2 miles in length. The first one-half … Read the rest

South Wash, Grafton, Utah

February 12, 2014 by Don Axford

This trail follows the South Wash, a major wash to the south of the Grafton Cemetery. This wash receives runoff from the Smithsonian Butte, and the two mesa’s on each side of the South Wash, Wire Mesa and Grafton Mesa.… Read the rest

Wet Sandy Wash, Toquerville

February 6, 2014 by Don Axford

Wet Sandy is one of the major drainage channels from a large section of the Pine Valley Mountains and provides a significant water source for the town of Toquerville, Utah. Wet Sandy starts at an elevation of about 9000 feet … Read the rest

Brackens Loop Trail, Red Cliffs

November 26, 2013 by Don Axford

The Brackens Loop Trail traverses scenic areas within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve north of Washington City, Utah. This loop trail starts at the Prospector Trail just north of the Washington water tank near Interstate I15. Part way around the … Read the rest

Spanish Wash, Utah

November 19, 2013 by Don Axford

The Spanish Wash traverses a relatively unknown and unused area of the Red Cliff Desert Reserve. This wash is one of several washes which drain the Red Cliff Mountains.

This wash passes under Interstate highway I15 near exit 16 through … Read the rest

Little Black Mountain Petroglyphs

April 21, 2013 by Don Axford

The Little Black Mountain Site contains some outstanding petroglyphs, representing 6,000 years of human history. The site has over 500 individual rock-art designs and elements on boulders surrounding the base of a 500-foot mesa.

Trail Rating

Overall rating = easy… Read the rest

Hidden Arch, Zion

April 18, 2013 by Don Axford

Hidden Arch is located across the road from the Checkerboard Mesa near the East entrance to Zion National Park. The trail to view the arch travels through a wash and over slickrock to a viewpoint, and then returns back on … Read the rest

Lava Flow Trail – Snow Canyon

March 29, 2013 by Don Axford

The Lava Flow Trail is an easy trail through black lava flows. Along the route there are several lava tubes two of which can be entered fairly easily. The largest lava tube is at the end of the trail before … Read the rest

Little Purgatory

January 21, 2013 by Don Axford

Little Purgatory is an extensively weathered deep lowland basin north east of the Quail Creek Reservoir and south of Leeds, Utah. This region consists of soft shales overlain by hard conglomerates. The Little Purgatory basin is an area where weathering … Read the rest

Scoggins Wash, Zion

December 12, 2012 by Don Axford

Scoggins Wash is an easy walk into the interior of the southern lowlands of Zion National Park, Utah. This is an ideal winter hike as it is fairly dry and temperatures are much cooler than in the summer. At the … Read the rest

Gifford Canyon, Zion

December 2, 2012 by Don Axford

Gifford Canyon is a north-south canyon on the East side of Zion National Park. The hike through Gifford Canyon is a nice hike through a sandy wash. This hike gets you away from the crowds and into a secluded and … Read the rest

Dalton Wash, Zion

November 25, 2012 by Don Axford

The road to Dalton Wash travels north from SR9 just east of Virgin, Utah. This gravel road takes you to the top of a mesa from where you can access the western wilderness of Zion National Park by following Dalton … Read the rest

Leap Creek, Browse

November 24, 2012 by Don Axford

The Leap Creek Trail starts behind the Browse Ranger station located 7.5 miles west of exit 30 on Interstate I15 between St George and Cedar City, Utah. This trail continues to the Big Point Summit of the Pine Valley Mountains … Read the rest

Timber Creek Overlook, Zion

November 24, 2012 by Don Axford

The Timber Creek Overlook in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park gives magnificent views of the Zion mountains. This trail is located at the end of the Kolob Canyons Road, 5.2 miles from the Visitor Center. The trail … Read the rest

Northgate Peaks, Zion

November 24, 2012 by Don Axford

The Northgate Peaks are two large slickrock peaks, the East Northgate Peak and the West Northgate Peak, on the Kolob Plateau in the north western wilderness of Zion National Park. The West Peak rises about 500 feet above the valley … Read the rest

Clear Creek, Zion

November 23, 2012 by Don Axford

Clear Creek flows from beyond the eastern entrance of Zion National Park down past Checkerboard Mesa and along the south side of SR9 until it enters Pine Creek about 0.4 miles east of the upper end of the Main Zion … Read the rest

Lower Pine Creek, Zion

November 21, 2012 by Don Axford

Pine Creek begins in the high country 1.5 miles north of SR9 on the eastern section of Zion National Park, continues down and under SR9, then along the south side of SR9, goes back north under SR9, and then drops … Read the rest

Shaw Woods

September 3, 2012 by Don Axford

The Shaw Woods Trail is an easy hike through old growth forests in Eastern Ontario Canada.

Trail Rating

Overall rating = easy

Distance: 2.2 miles – easy
Elevation gain: <100 feet - easy Terrain: Wide hard packed trail - easy Exposure: None - easy To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System

Getting There

Take Highway 41 north through the … Read the rest

JEM Trail

April 17, 2012 by Don Axford

The JEM trail, named for trailblazers John, Ellen, and Mike, is a 22 mile bike trail that travels along the Virgin River and Hurricane Cliffs. The first 2 miles of this trail is a beautiful walking trail along the Virgin … Read the rest

Antelope Canyons – Upper and Lower

March 8, 2012 by Don Axford

Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower … Read the rest

Spooky Gulch and Dry Fork

March 8, 2012 by Don Axford

Spooky Gulch is a short slot canyon hike in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area, located off the Hole-in-the-Rock Road, 26 miles south of the town of Escalante. Spooky is well named and famous for how dark and narrow it gets in … Read the rest

Silver Reef Mines – Babylon

February 28, 2012 by Don Axford

There were numerous mines along the Silver Reef in the Babylon area of Hurricane, Utah, in the late 19th century. This silver deposit was unique in the world with silver ocurring in a sandstone formation.

All of these mines have … Read the rest

Cottonwood Canyon – Southern Section

February 27, 2012 by Don Axford

The Cottonwood Trail from the Cottonwood Trailhead to Heath Wash travels through spectacular red cliffs formations with many side canyons for endless exploring enjoyment. The Canyon is wide with high hills on both sides.

Trail Rating

Overall rating = moderate… Read the rest

Hurricane Canal

February 26, 2012 by Don Axford

The construction of the Hurricane Canal is one of Utah’s proudest stories of pioneer determination. This canal, built completely by hand, opened the Hurricane Bench to farming and the establishment of the town of Hurricane. In 1893 two local men … Read the rest

Red Reef Trail

February 26, 2012 by Don Axford

There are several sections of the Red Reef Trail: the one described below which follows a drainage from the northern Red Reef wilderness area down to the Cottonwood Canyon at the Harrisburg Flat; the popular Quail Creek drainage that flows … Read the rest

Harrisburg Arch in Red Cliffs Reserve

February 16, 2012 by Don Axford

The large arch in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve opposite Harrisburg in Hurricane, Utah, is quite spectacular when viewed up close. It can be accessed by travelling cross country from the Prospector Trail. This is a fairly easy trail.

Read the rest