Hell Canyon Trail
The Hell Canyon Trail is located on the northwest edge of Jewel Cave National Monument, and is managed by the National Forest Service. The Forest Service lists this loop trail as 5.3 miles, with an optional ½ mile spur trail to a scenic overlook. The high point on the trail is close to 5,800 feet, while the low point near the trailhead is close to 5,300 feet. About half of the Hell Canyon Trail loop is actually in West Hell Canyon, and the rest is in the main canyon. There is an abundance of vegetation on the canyon floor, and ticks are plentiful in spring and summer months. Wildlife is common, including a herd of bighorn sheep that are sometimes seen high on the limestone walls and cliffs in the canyon. There is no drinking water or amenities in or near the canyon, so visitors need to be prepared for a more rugged outing than what they might experience at the nearby Canyons Trail in Jewel Cave National Monument.
The junction of the main branch of Hell Canyon and West Hell Canyon is about ¾ of a mile up the canyon floor. There is no official trail up that branch, but there is an old forest service road. For those who find the 5.3 mile loop to be too short, hiking 2.3 miles up the old road to the branch canyon of Short Fork Creek, and then back will add enough on to give you close to a 10-mile hike.
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