By Audrey Andrews | March 30th, 2021
Out & Back:
584 feet elevation gain
The Grandstaff Canyon Trail is a lovely, short out and back just outside of Moab to and from the Morning Glory Arch. The trailhead is close to town, convenient and has plenty of parking. Plus, the hike allows dogs (trails in surrounding National Parks do not). Thus, Grandstaff Canyon is quite popular in Moab.
After hiking the trail in mid-March, I understand its popularity. This hike is great for most abilities due to its short duration and minimal elevation gain. Obviously, the views are also a plus. The entirety of the hike winds throughout a canyon walled with gorgeous oranges and reds.
The Grandstaff Canyon Trail begins on sand and dirt, but hikers quickly find themselves traversing large rock slabs. These are not too difficult to navigate. If hikers do get off-trail, a general sense of direction is pretty easy to maintain because of, well, being in a canyon.
The trail winds along a stream that flows into the nearby Colorado River. The stream creates further scenic views and easy drinking water for puppers! When not skirting the stream, the trail is surrounded by cacti, so be sure to stay in the center of the trail.
There are many water crossings, so expect to get your feet wet unless you excel at balancing on slippery rocks. No areas of the stream were too deep and the water was typically beautifully clear, but plan for damp socks by the end of the journey. I enjoyed the water crossings and found they made the walk more delightful.
The Granstaff Canyon Trail culminates in the stunning Morning Glory Arch. When we arrived, there were people rappelling down from it. While that is definitely cooler than hiking in, I still enjoyed our version of the trek. The water running out of the surrounding rock was simply gorgeous. The entire area around Morning Glory Arch is a wonderland.
The hike out of Grandstaff Canyon was just as stunning as the walk in. We started early and were able to get a parking spot at the trailhead, but the area was packed with cars and people by the time we returned. If you’re looking for an isolated hike, definitely start early. Of course, be sure to bring your pupper along.