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Hellhole Canyon Hiking Guide

Hellhole Canyon Utah

Overview

Hellhole Canyon is an unbelievably gorgeous hike in Southern Utah. The trailhead signage refers to it as “Kayenta Canyon”, but I’ve never heard anyone call it that.

The area receives infrequent rain, but when it does, glorious waterfalls have been known to appear in here. Kayenta Wash also floods, so proceed with caution.

The trailhead is accessed from Kayenta, a charming desert community found just outside of St. George, Utah.

Indian paintbrush in Hellhole. April 2020
Indian paintbrush in Hellhole. April 2020

Quick Facts

  • Distance: 3.4 miles out and back
  • Hike Time: 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 200 feet
  • Fee: Free
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Hiking to Hellhole Canyon

There is limited parking at the trailhead, so I recommend hiking on a weekday. You can parallel park on the side of Taviawk Drive or under the big “Kayenta” sign on the southwest side of the road.

There are two approaches to Hellhole Canyon:

  1. Hike down into Kayenta Wash and follow it about a mile, then bear left onto a spur trail that exits the wash and continues straight into the canyon. This route is harder, because there is deep sand, rocks, and brush to avoid.
  2. Avoid the wash entirely, and find a faint trail that runs along the edge of the wash on its western side. This route is easier and faster.

I like to mix things up by hiking in the wash on the way there, then returning on the alternate route.

Once you become encircled in giant red cliffs, you have reached the end of where most people hike. At this point, it’s fun to explore side canyons, follow footpaths, and take photographs before turning around.

Kim pauses to take in the view.
Kim pauses to take in the view with her Knack Pack

Map

Location

The trailhead for Hellhole Canyon (aka Kayenta Canyon) is found on Taviawk Drive in Kayenta.

From St. George, follow St. George Boulevard, then turn right onto Bluff Street. After 1 mile, turn left onto Snow Canyon Parkway. Follow it 4.2 miles (through 2 roundabouts), then turn right onto Center Street. Once you enter Kayenta, Center Street becomes Taviawk Drive. Continue 2.6 miles to the trailhead from the turnoff.

Get Directions

Resources

Links

Photos

Kayenta Wash and Hellhole Canyon in the distance. Dec 2013
Kayenta Wash with red cliffs in the distance. Dec 2013
Looking up at the canyon's walls. March 2015
Looking up at the canyon’s walls. March 2015

Hellhole Canyon Utah

Hellhole Canyon Utah

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