Smith Canyon - Horsethief Canyon | Northern Swell

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

Northern Swell

Overview

RATING: Moderate Hiking

Fri

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny. High near 100, with temperatures falling to around 97 in the afternoon. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

100 | 71

Sat

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 100. North northeast wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

100 | 70

Sun

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 97. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

97 | 69

Mon

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 96.

96 | 68

Tue

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 98.

98 | 69

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SEASON: Fall, Winter, Spring
WATER: None.
FLASHFLOOD: None.

Fri

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny. High near 100, with temperatures falling to around 97 in the afternoon. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

100 | 71

Sat

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 100. North northeast wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

100 | 70

Sun

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 97. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

97 | 69

Mon

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 96.

96 | 68

Tue

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 98.

98 | 69

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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