Hunter Canyon

Hunter Canyon

This trail offers a wonderful out-and-back hike up a canyon lined with towering sandstone cliffs. A small creek runs most of the year. vegetation fills the canyon floor in places but the trail cuts through it. 

The hike starts at the junction of Hunter Canyon and Kane Creek Canyon on the left side of Kane Springs Road just before it dips through the creek. Hike east up the sandy trail on the canyon floor, crossing and recrossing the creek whenever needed. The creek is usually low so it’s easy to boulder hop 

After 0.5 mile the trail follows the creek and bends left below a tall cliff. Opposite the bend is a steep broken drainage. Look up right from the base of the rocky gully to see Hunter Arch, a 74-foot-high opening with a thick outside leg that connects to the rimrock above. If you want to see the arch up close, scramble up the boulder-filled gully and then a steep talus slope to the arch base.

Around the bend from the arch the trail plunges through a dense thicket of tamarisk, an invasive Asian plant, before emerging onto bedrock pavement. The creek trickles through shallow pools on the bedrock. After a mile, the trail and canyon bend eastward. The canyon opens here and three sandstone pinnacles rise above the trail.

Continue hiking past the left pinnacle into the wider canyon. The creek runs over bedrock. Follow the trail across a sand bench on the left side of the canyon and then go right onto bedrock next to the creek. The creek tumbles over short stone ledges, filling large shallow pools that reflect sky and red cliff.

This idyllic spot, 1.7 miles from the trail head, is the turnaround point for this easy day hike. To finish your hike, retrace your footsteps back down Hunter Canyon to the trail head.