Ideas For 1 Night Backpacking In Utah Desert?


The mountains are calling and I must go
Mar 31, 2013
Looking for suggestions for 1 one night backpacking in Utah desert,
great scenery and less than 16 miles.

Anything come to mind?

Upper Muley Twist comes to mind.

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How about the Fish and Owl loop on Cedar Mesa? Don't remember the mileage specifically but it's pretty short and they're relatively fast miles.
Sheiks/Bullet loop on Cedar Mesa would be a nice one this time of year.

San Rafael River to Virgin Spring Canyon and back is a good one too.

Lower Spring Canyon in Capitol Reef also.
How about the Fish and Owl loop on Cedar Mesa? Don't remember the mileage specifically but it's pretty short and they're relatively fast miles.

Every one insists it's more than the posted 17 miles, their gps said so.
The south fork in Mule Canyon would work. Six miles and you are next to some fine ruins.
Sundance Trail in Dark Canyon.
Last edited:
How about the Fish and Owl loop on Cedar Mesa? Don't remember the mileage specifically but it's pretty short and they're relatively fast miles.
Having done this one based on @Ben TR a few years ago, I'm one of the ones that insists
it's more than 17 miles. I measured it at 21.

I heavily considered this, especially because I know my car can make the dirt road drive to the TH.
This trip is for my 21 YO daughter so I'm still chewing on this one.

Thanks for recommendation!
Escalante River Gorge
Boulder Mail Trail
The Gulch
Lower Muley Twist
Spring Canyon
Chesler Park
40 mile/Willow Gulch
Deer Creak
Little Death Hollow/Wolverine Loop
Spring/Nate's Canyon
Many great recommendations! Thank you!
+1 to Fish/Owl and Bullet/Sheiks
Halls Creek Narrows
Coyote Gulch (I like the sneaker route, but it requires some 4th class)
Boulder Mail Trail from the Escalante River trailhead to Death Hollow back up Escalante River (It's close to 20, but with an easy, mostly downhill bike shuttle you can exit the sneaker route and cut off ~6 miles)
Youngs Canyon into Dark Canyon
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