Distance: Your choice— 1 to 21 miles
Elevation gain: ~1,437 (There’s a gradual ascent in the first 2 miles or so and rollers beyond. If you go down to the Canal, you’ll have the return climb.)
Terrain: Single track (A few areas of “exposure” –other than those, generally great for trail running and mountain biking, except as noted on the trail – beware “The Drop”.)
The views are spectacular on this trail—stretching out to ZION and dropping down to the Canal below. Just over a mile into the Rim Trail, you’ll come to aptly named Panorama Point. Here, you’re standing on the Hurricane Fault, one of the longest earthquake faults in the world. Before you, the expansive western edge of the Colorado Plateau and the convergence of the Basin, Range, and the Mojave Desert. The Kaibab limestone cliffs date back to the Paleozoic era when the ocean submerged the area.
At about mile 2.4, you’ll reach a junction to go down the Canal Trail or continue on the rim. I took the Canal Trail about 3.25 miles down and explored around there. There are many discoveries to be made along the way, including tunnels, historical remnants, and hot springs. (Unfortunately, the latter are now behind posted No Trespassing signs.)
There are a couple of options to explore here by foot or by mountain bike. There’s a sign at the trailhead with the details that I’ve summarized below. Hikers and bikers may find it somewhat disconcerting/comforting that the hospital emergency phone number is listed at the top of the sign.
HURRICANE CLIFFS TRAIL SYSTEM
Bowery Trail One-mile round trip hike that follows the Canal, going over a flume and through a tunnel. (Not exactly sure where this one starts.)
Historic Hurricane CANAL TRAIL Traverse from the Hurricane Hill Trailhead to Virgin Dam Trailhead – 5.2 miles one way. The first 2 miles are rated moderate. The last 3.2 miles are rated strenuous.
Mountain Biking the 21-mile “LOOP”
Canal/Rim Trail (first 1.8 miles), Rim Trail, Jem Trail, Goulds Trail, and Goulds Rim Trail. The “LOOP” route is typically ridden counter-clockwise. For a shorter ride of your choosing, you can opt to do an out and back or arrange a car shuttle.
Notes: Horseback riding is permitted from Virgin Dam Rim Trail to Chinatown Wash and on the Gould’s Rim Trail. This hike is exposed –spring, fall, & winter are probably preferable to hiking here in the summer heat.
Getting there: Go south about a mile on US-59 up the hill above Hurricane City. The Hurricane Rim trailhead parking area is on your left and marked by several cell phone towers.
Ps. I know some time has passed since my last post. I’ve been caught up in my adventures and have some serious catching up to do on my posts. Stay tuned and thanks for visiting.