Description: This moderately difficult hike is one of the more scenic and popular canyon routes in the western half of the Monument. It offers a variety of day and overnight hiking options. Most day hikers venture 1-2 miles upstream from the southern end of the canyon, enjoying the cool canyon environment with its shallow flowing water and steep canyon walls. Backpackers usually continue further upstream. For those spending more than one night in the canyon, there are many options for day hikes from a base camp. Hiking further upstream provides a pleasant experience, as the canyon twists and turns back towards its source. Side canyons along the way are fun to explore. The hike to Sam Pollock Arch is another interesting side trip. During the spring, a wide variety of wildflowers can be seen in the canyon. Numerous quiet pools are filled with pond life. For more information, detailed maps, and current information on conditions, please contact the nearest visitor center.
Type of Trip: Moderately easy hiking in a canyon bottom. 2-4 day backpacking trip, depending on how far up the canyon you go. The lower end of the canyon can be done as a day hike.
Mileage: 20.5 miles one-way from the mouth of Hackberry Canyon to the mouth of Round Valley Draw. It is 1.5 miles further to the top of Round Valley Draw, which is a difficult/technical hike/climb through a narrow slot canyon.
Trailhead Location: To access the mouth of Hackberry Canyon from Hwy 89, travel east from Kanab to the Cottonwood Road (MM 18). Drive north on the Cottonwood Road (400) approximately 14.4 miles to the unimproved trailhead parking area located on the left (west) side of road at the mouth of Hackberry Canyon.
To access Hackberry Canyon from Hwy12, drive to Cannonville and follow the signing for Kodachrome State Park. Continue south and east 8 miles on a paved road to the turnoff for Kodachrome State Park. At this junction, continue south and east on the unpaved Cottonwood Road approximately 23 miles to the unimproved trailhead parking area on the right (west) side of the road at the mouth of Hackberry Canyon.
To access the head of Hackberry Canyon from Cannonville, drive south and east on the paved road to Kodachrome Basin State Park. After 8 miles, at the state park entrance, the pavement ends. Continue south on the dirt road (Cottonwood Road #400) for 5 miles. There is a minor dirt road which goes up the embankment to the right (west) and continues south-southwest. This road is closed to vehicles. Park in the turn-around area adjacent to the Cottonwood Road. Hike approximately 2 miles south and west on the two track road until you come to a corral. Hike down the dry wash past the corral into Hackberry Canyon.
Water Availability/Hiking in Water: The best water sources are the 3 springs shown on the SlickRock Bench and Calico Peak USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle maps. A perennial stream usually flows in the lower 10 miles of the canyon. Filter or treat all water before drinking. The upper 8.5 miles of the route are dry with deep sand, so hikers must carry adequate water.
Throughout the wet portion of the canyon, it is possible to avoid walking in the water by traveling along the edge of the stream, or across sandy benches. Walking in the shallow water usually cannot be avoided in the lower 2 miles of the canyon. Water levels vary throughout the season, but are normally only a few inches deep in most places. Quicksand is a possibility, especially early in the spring, or after summer rains.
Obstacles/Technical Features: Hiking in upper Hackberry Canyon is through deep sand. Hikers planning to traverse Round Valley Draw need to obtain additional route information and should be prepared for technical climbing.
Safety Concerns: Hikers must be cautious during flash flood season. Adequate escape routes for flash flood situations may be non-existent in sections of this canyon. Biting deer flies can be bad in the late spring/early summer. Wear long pants to avoid bites. The upper end of the canyon is dry. Heat-related injuries and dehydration could be potential problems. Hikers must carry adequate amounts of water.
Maps: USGS 7.5 minute quads: Slick Rock Bench and Calico Peak