Halls Creek Narrows

The Halls Creek Narrows are a 3-mile stretch of rugged, spectacular canyon near the bottom of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park. The trailhead can be reached by taking the Notom-Bullfrog Road south to Big Thomson Mesa. The narrows are deep, shady, and most welcoming during the blazing heat of a summer day. There is water in the bottom of the narrows year round, requiring wading, though there is no fresh water to be had on the trail. Hikers must bring their own water, and a pump.

Trail Head: 37.717589, -110.929956

Trail Type: Hiking

Length: 22 miles round trip

Difficulty: Strenuous

This trail is long, and exhausting—particularly in warmer months. It is usually tackled as a two or three-day camping trip. Taking that much time in the area allows visitors to explore the dozens of side canyons that abound in the area, and might even allow for enough time to explore Brimhall Natural Bridge, and Muley Twist Canyon.

The trail begins at Halls Creek Overlook on the west end of Big Thomson Mesa. Switchbacks descend from the Overlook into Grand Gulch below, beside the Brimhall Natural Bridge Trailhead. From there, the trail follows the waterway south for 8 miles until the beginning of the narrows.

For the majority of the trek, Grand Gulch sits between the colossal walls of the Waterpocket Fold to the west, and the jagged cliffs and mesas that border the fold on its east side. The narrows begin when the gulch cuts directly into the sloping sandstone of the Waterpocket Fold. The narrows have dug a winding watercourse through the stone, with sheer walls closing in about it, at times rising above the streambed by more than 650 feet.

After three miles, the narrows empty back into Grand Gulch and Halls Creek continues its route down to Lake Powell, only 7.5 miles south of this point.

Some hikers prefer to hike back the way they came, back up the narrows and Grand Gulch, to the Brimhall Natural Bridge Trailhead, and up the switchbacks below Halls Creek Overlook. Most, however, end up scaling the cliffs at Hall Divide, which is located back near the beginning of the narrows. Switchbacks take hikers up the side of the cliff, to the divide, at the foot of Hall Mesa.

From below Hall Mesa, hikers can head north along the cliffs above Grand Gulch, all the way back to Halls Creek Overlook, eight miles to the north.

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