Hayduke Trail (Utah & Arizona)

Slick and Twisted Trails

DISTANCE (one-way)

812 mi (1307 km)

DIFFICULTY

TIME

1-3 months

SOLITUDE

The challenge of a lifetime

From Arches to Zion via the Grand Canyon, the Hayduke Trail is a long-distance route through the heart of canyon country. This extremely rugged, extremely challenging, and extremely remote path is for the experienced desert backpacker seeking a backcountry challenge like no other.

A homage to Edward Abbey, the Hayduke Trail is located entirely on the public lands he passionately worked to promote, preserve, and protect. It travels through deep canyons, up snowy peaks, and crosses barren desert landscapes with otherworldly geologic formations.

The route is not marked and navigation skills are absolutely essential, particularly when traveling through canyons which often have a single way in and out. The route involves Class 3 and Class 4 scrambling and plenty of cross country route finding. Road crossings and town stops to resupply are rare and water sources can be scarce.

For many desert adventurers this route is the challenge of a lifetime. The ethereal terrain, tremendous solitude, and breathtaking landscapes are the reward.

When to go

March thru May are most ideal as the daytime and nighttime temperatures aren't extreme in the spring. Likewise, September through November are also great but you'll have less daylight.

Getting there

The route begins in Arches National Park, just outside of Moab, Utah.

Know before you go

  • Permits are required for backcountry travel for most of the National Parks, National Monuments, and National Recreation Areas that the route travels through.
  • This is not a long-distance path akin to the AT or PCT. There are no trail angels to help should you have an emergency and you will probably not see any other thru-hikers. Aside from encountering the occasional day hiker, plan to be entirely on your own.

For more information:

Sunset in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Photo by BLM on Flickr.

The Weeping Wall trail in Zion National Park and the terminus of the Hayduke Trail. Photo by LDELD on Flickr.

About the author

Danielle Alling

Just a gal that likes playing and sleeping outside. Graphic designer, yogi, aspiring photographer, and van dweller of sorts. AT 2013, PCT 2016. IG: @danigoesoutside web: www.daniellealling.com