Challenging, Off-the-Beaten-Path Hikes in Ticaboo and Hanksville

Hiking north of Hanksville comes with some stunning views.
Hiking north of Hanksville comes with some stunning views. Michael Theis - cc
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The hikes are many around Ticaboo and Hanksville en route to Bullfrog Marina. However, many of the Hanksville options are highly technical and will require either advanced skills in repelling and route finding, or hiring a guide (recommended for the inexperienced). And the Ticaboo options are generally on two-track or ATV trails. That said, these areas are beautiful and offer diverse options to mix up your trip to the Lake Powell area.

What Makes it Great

Cascading down Maidenwater Canyon.
Cascading down Maidenwater Canyon. Mia & Steve Mestdagh - CC

There really is nothing quite like a technical slot canyon to raise the hair on the back of your neck and give you a sense for adventure. Adrenaline junkies and non-claustrophobes will love the offerings around Hanksville. Because these are technical canyons, it is necessary to do more research before venturing into them.

The most famous slots in Hanksville include the three forks of Leprechaun Canyon, myriad options in North Wash, and the ever-classic Maidenwater Canyon. These areas require repelling and offer gorgeous red rock narrows and incredible features. To be in a technical slot canyon requires good climbing skills, the proper gear, and a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. And there’s nothing else really like it in the world of recreation. So go if you can. These are very skinny canyons at times and better fit for those with smaller body types, so just be aware of this before you head into the canyons.

Near Ticaboo, you’ll venture up and over the hills of the small town to far-reaching vistas, where you can see Lake Powell and Bullfrog Marina. You can get a detailed map of the area from the Ticaboo Resort. Note that many of the “trails” are made for ATVs (which you can rent here), but because of minimal traffic, you might not see very many nor may the motorized traffic spoil your time in nature.

What You’ll Remember

Cramming your way through a canyon and loving every inch of it; rappelling down 60-plus-foot sheer drops down a canyon; peaking out over Ticaboo to view the mesmerizing Lake Powell.

Who is Going to Love It

Advanced canyoneers (for the technical slot canyons of Hanksville) and those looking to see the sites around Ticaboo and don’t mind walking on a two track (for the ATV trails around Ticaboo).

GPS Coordinates, Parking and Regulations

GPS Coordinates: Varies

Park at the trailheads as described by your guide book. Buy a guide book and bring it with you, because the slot canyons around Hanksville are technical and require intermediate to advanced navigation.

The best time to hike around Ticaboo and Hanksville is spring to fall. If you are in a slot canyon, the flash flood risk is high, so check the weather before entering. Don’t bring your dog on these hikes.

Difficulty: 4 - 5 stars


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