Ernie Canyon |

Eastern Reef

Hiking Ernie Canyon - Eastern Reef Hiking Ernie Canyon
Eastern Reef

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


TICKS & TODOS: 0 Todo Lists / 1 Ticks
RATING: Easy Hiking
LENGTH: 1+ hours
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
MAPS: Old Woman Wash, UT;
WATER: None.
SEASON: Fall, Winter, Spring
NOTES: Reaching the trailhead requires high clearance.
Thu Hi:75 Lo:50 Fri Hi:78 Lo:53 Sat Hi:74 Lo:51 Sun Hi:76 Lo:51 Mon Hi:71 Lo:51
View Full Weather Details

Ernie Canyon offers a very casual hike to old mining ruins and a view of an arch high on the wall. This is a good family friendly hike in cooler times of the year, and several spots along the approach road offer good primitive camping.

Good scenery, easy access, and good camping make this a highly recommended outing for most! Adding Hurst Bridge makes for a fuller day or even casual weekend all in the same area.

Getting There

At mile marker 141.6 on highway 24, take the side road on the west side of the highway through the gate. This is about 26 miles north of Hanksville, or 18 miles south of I-70 if coming from Green River.

  • Reset as you turn off UT-24. ( 12S 542367mE 4283583mN / N38° 41' 59" W110° 30' 46" )
  • 0.6 miles, the road descends into and crosses a wash (the lower end of Iron Wash). This section is generally the worst section of road and usually requires high clearance or a 4x4. ( 12S 541854mE 4284066mN / N38° 42' 15" W110° 31' 07" )
  • After crossing Iron Wash, the road ascends out of the wash, reaching a junction at 0.9 miles. Go right. ( 12S 541359mE 4284116mN / N38° 42' 17" W110° 31' 28" )
  • The road crosses the open desert, coming to a minor junction at 2.8. Stay left here. ( 12S 541005mE 4286750mN / N38° 43' 42" W110° 31' 42" )
  • 3.1 miles - Trailhead. There is decent primitive camping at the trailhead. ( 12S 540548mE 4286806mN / N38° 43' 44" W110° 32' 01" )


From the trailhead, simply follow the wash into it. It crosses a log fence and passes through shallow Navajo walled narrows. An open area offers big views of the reef before the canyon begins cutting into the steeper walled Wingate layer.

It is about 3 miles (1-1.5 hours) from the log fence to the mining ruins on the left. Look high on the right here to see the arch. A bend or two past the ruins / arch the canyon opens broadly behind the reef. The best scenery is over, returning from here is recommended.


Printable Maps:

12S 540617mE 4286830mN

N38° 43' 45" W110° 31' 58"

Ernie Fence

12S 540529mE 4286890mN

N38° 43' 47" W110° 32' 01"

Arch View and Cabin Ruins

12S 538093mE 4288145mN

N38° 44' 28" W110° 33' 42"

Mining Road

12S 537944mE 4288062mN

N38° 44' 26" W110° 33' 48"


Want to make a comment? Login and let yourself be heard.