Stone Mountain, watery way

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Stone Mountain, watery way

A worthy Arizona retreat
Hackberry Canyon walls-up and thins. The floor is sandy and flat. The muted hues of immobile stone contrast with fluttering spring-green leaves of cottonwood and maple.
Yellow Rock is one big dome of sunny, colorful sandstone.
Smooth sweeps of rock are impregnated with elegant lines of color. Swarthy rust-colored stone transitions to feminine dusky rose, mauve, lilac, and pink.
Lower Hackberry Trailhead is located at the confluence of Cottonwood Creek and Hackberry Creek. To climb Yellow Rock, walk down Cottonwood Creek to the first tributary and turn west.

Stone Mountain, watery way

Hackberry Canyon walls-up and thins. The floor is sandy and flat. The muted hues of immobile stone contrast with fluttering spring-green leaves of cottonwood and maple.
Yellow Rock is one big dome of sunny, colorful sandstone.
Smooth sweeps of rock are impregnated with elegant lines of color. Swarthy rust-colored stone transitions to feminine dusky rose, mauve, lilac, and pink.
Lower Hackberry Trailhead is located at the confluence of Cottonwood Creek and Hackberry Creek. To climb Yellow Rock, walk down Cottonwood Creek to the first tributary and turn west.
Travel basics

Travel: The Lower Hackberry Trailhead is off unpaved Cottonwood Road. It is subject to washouts so check with the visitor center in Big Water, UT before traveling. 4WD is recommended but ask about conditions for two-wheel-drive vehicles with good clearance. The Cottonwood Road turn-off is between Page, Arizona, and Kanab, Utah, at mile marker 17.8. Zero-out your trip meter as you turn north. At 6.2 miles the road comes alongside the Paria River. At 11.7 miles, avoid the left fork that goes to the Paria Box Trailhead. The road leaves the Paria River and climbs to a small pass separating the Cottonwood Creek and Paria River valleys. Travel by distinctively weathered sandstone fins. At 14.5 miles, a sign for the Lower Hackberry Trailhead guides into a dirt lot on the west side of the road in a cottonwood grove. No facilities.


Distance and Elevation Gain: 3.2 miles roundtrip for Yellow Rock with 800 feet of climbing. Hike as far up Hackberry Creek as you wish. We turned around at 1.8 miles. Our total was 6.8 miles with 900 feet of climbing.


Time: 3 to 4 hoursfor Yellow Rock; time in Hackberry Canyon will vary


Difficulty: Trail, off-trail; navigation moderate; no exposure; carry or treat water


Maps: Calico Peak, UT 7.5 Quad; Trails Illustrated No. 714, Grand Staircase, Paunsaugunt Plateau, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

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