Distance: 9 miles RT Out & Back
Difficulty: Not easy (distance, elevation gain, deep sand hiking, and exposure). Not for the faint of heart or sand shy.
Elevation Gain: 1,581 ft
What a hidden gem! Definitely one of the most dramatic and magical spots, I’ve experienced in Utah. Well worth the considerable effort of trudging through deep sand. Almost the entire elevation loss/gain is in the first/last 2 miles. Imagine a deep sand slog, followed by a deep sand vertical climb, followed by a steep sandstone vertical climb and you’ve imagined the final miles of the hike. About 80% of the hike is across exposed, arid desert so take proper precautions! Dehydration, heat stroke, or worse are real dangers, especially when the temperatures are high.
GPS and backcountry skills are highly recommended.
Check out the magical mesmerizing reflections at the Golden Cathedral
Luckily, many loathe deep sand hiking and this is the Mother of deep sand hiking so it’s a great crowd deterrent.