Centerville Canyon (also known as Duell or Deul or Duel Canyon), in Centerville Utah, is a non-technical USFS canyon trail running along Centerville Creek through the forest and eventually dead ending several miles up the canyon. The whole of the hike through the canyon has a wilderness feel despite being next to Centerville and is a good afternoon diversion away from the city. Over the course of the hike, Centerville Canyon has diverse terrain including steep rocky areas, river crossings, waterfalls, and thick forest.
The first part of the hike is steep/rocky west facing mountainside. Since it is exposed to direct sun for most of the day, it is hot and dry. The trail continues into the canyon and steadily becomes more forested as you go. After reaching the creek in about ¾ miles, the canyon narrows and is shaded by thick forest. At this point, with Centerville Creek running nearby, it is about 10 degrees cooler than in town. Fall season hikes net some nice leaf changes and fall coloring within a few minutes of Centerville. Spring time can be kind of tricky as the creek gets swollen with snow runoff and the trails stay iced into late April. Centerville Canyon is also a good snowshoe destination for winter hikers. Nordic skiing is probably out of the question unless you are highly skilled. In general, the canyon has low hiker density and most days you will have it to yourself.
The trail starts south of the Centerville’s Parrish Lane Trailhead, next to the water reservoir about ¼ miles down the dirt road. There is a small trailhead marker with a map. From there the trail goes steeply up the hill for about ¼ mile continues up the side of the canyon to about 4950 feet. After about 1 mile, the route reaches Centerville Creek. The trail then continues to gain altitude, but not as steeply, as it winds through the canyon and crosses the creek numerous times.
The trail continues through the forest until reaching a 40 foot waterfall. Beyond the waterfall, the trail gets wilder and much more difficult. The brush is thick and the trail ill-defined—you can see where someone has gone, but it’s a serious bushwhack.
Some local enthusiasts volunteer to improve the trail and there are primitive bridges, pre-built fire rings and even a rope swing along the trail. The route up to the rope swing is kid friendly (although the 1st part may be tough for little ones).
Overall, the trail to the waterfall is straightforward with only a couple of divergent paths. The first divergence is early in the hike when the trail starts to get less steep and goes up the side up the mountain. It is obviously less traveled and will take you to Zigzag Hill (6470). A second divergence is at the creek junction and it’s where the North and South Centerville Canyon trails meet. There a few other much less obvious side trails along the route. One interesting side route involves some steep YDS 2 hiking and will take you up to the flag pole with Old Glory sitting on a rocky crag high above the canyon. Nice views there and great place to lunch. From there you can also climb out of the canyon and continue up to Zigzag Hill on the YDS 2 route.
Parrish Lane trailhead is located at Long/Lat 40.9191229,-111.864080 in Centerville. The Centerville Canyon Trailhead is ¼ mile south at Long/Lat 40.918636,-111.864252
From I-15, take the Parrish Lane Exit (319) to Centerville. Follow Parrish Lane east past Target, Wal-Mart, and DQ. Continue on Parrish Lane to where it comes to a T at 700 East. Turn left (north) onto the windy and narrow road, watching out for idiots in large vehicles. When you reach the dirt parking lot, continue south on the dirt road for about another quarter mile. When you reach the water reservoir, park along the dirt road. There’s not much room on the side of the road, so park carefully. The trailhead will be to your left and you should see the trail going steeply up the hill.
There is a shooting range across the creek near the parking spot and you’ll hear hunters/shooting enthusiasts sighting in their weapons during the first part of your hike. Otherwise the trail is quiet.
There aren't any restrooms or water available at the trailhead (nor is there any along the route), so plan accordingly.
Red Tape And Camping
None. You are on forest service land in the Wasatch National Forest for the whole hike. Be careful with any fires. Pursuant to a whole herd of government regulations, no fighting, loud rock-n-roll music, and avoid public intoxication. In addition, the USFS cautions you about disturbing the wildlife (particularly deer and moose) during calving season.
Dogs/horses are allowed but the route looks like it’d be difficult for a horse. Mountain bikes are an impossibility and no motor vehicles are allowed on the trails.
Primitive fire rings dot the area (at least 5 camps) and there is plenty of good spots for leave no trace camping. I’ve never seen people actually camping there, but they look nice and are available. Water is available for resupply from the creek.
Flora and Fauna
The first part of the hike is dry flora typical of Utah’s west-facing slopes with Sage brush and bunch grass. The forest is made up pine, fir, canyon maple, Gambel Oak, and Water Birch trees.