Smith Canyon - Horsethief Canyon |

Northern Swell

Hiking Smith Canyon - Horsethief Canyon - Northern Swell Hiking Smith Canyon - Horsethief Canyon
Northern Swell

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Overview

RATING: Moderate Hiking
LENGTH: 5-8 hours

Thu

45 | 27

Fri

48 | 30

Sat

45 | 30

Sun

40 | 25

Mon

37 | 19

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Fall, Winter, Spring
WATER: None.
FLASHFLOOD: None.

Thu

45 | 27

Fri

48 | 30

Sat

45 | 30

Sun

40 | 25

Mon

37 | 19

View Full Weather Details
Mexican Mountain From the Overlook - Smith Canyon - Horsethief Canyon - Swell

Mexican Mountain From the Overlook - Smith Canyon - Horsethief Canyon - Swell

The Swell is steeped in history, from the Native Americans that passed through to the early settlers and Uranium miners. This hike visits a bit of that history. The hike is moderate, with a fair bit of elevation gain, and a fair bit of distance. That being said, it is an excellent hike, and recommended in Fall, Winter, or Spring when the temperatures are cooler. Although easy access from the freeway, it doesn't seem crowded of overly traveled.

The combination of the early settler ruins, a historic horse trail, and expansive views make this a hike not to be missed by the San Rafael Swell enthusiast. The trailhead is generally accessible to all vehicle, but this area is not recommend if rain is in the forecast, the road can become impassable quickly.

Two options are described, a shorter route and longer route. Both share the same great section, the longer route simple ambles a bit more before returning. The longer route is recommended for those with time and energy.

View from the top of the horsethief trail - Smith Canyon - Horsethief Canyon - Swell

View from the top of the horsethief trail - Smith Canyon - Horsethief Canyon - Swell

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