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Reflection Canyon

Difficult
 5.0 (7) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Reflection Canyon is a must-see that requires nearly 8.5 miles of navigating across singletrack and slickrock.


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Map Key

15.4

Miles

24.7

KM

Out and Back

4,466' 1,361 m

High

3,929' 1,198 m

Low

1,234' 376 m

Up

1,233' 376 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Lake · Views

Free overnight permits can be obtained in the Escalante Visitor Center.

Overview

This is a challenging route with great views of Navajo Mountain on the way to Reflection Canyon. Plan to arrive at Reflection Canyon in time for sunset and then get up for sunrise. Both events result in stunning views that are worth the effort it takes to reach the canyon!

Description

The trailhead is located at mile 51 on Hole In The Rock Road, which will take 2+ hours to drive when the road is dry. At mile 51, the terrain on both sides of the road flattens, which is unlike most of the road. This is where you can pull off the road and park, but neither the parking area nor the trailhead is marked.

This trail from the parking area heads upwards to a bench at about 4400' and follows that contour through dirt and dry creek beds for about 5.5 miles. At 5.5 miles, you begin to head east and around mile 6, you'll reach the slick rock. By taking a more direct route across the slickrock, we were able to cut some distance on the beginning section but lost it later when we went around a mesa that we could have gone over. The slickrock section is not marked at all, and the dirt section has a few cairns, but there can be multiple routes or no visible routes at all depending on when it has last rained. You need to carry all your water for your entire trip, as there is no consistent water source on the trail. The route is constantly up and down but with very little net elevation change.

While the viewpoint is stunning year-round, you'll want to check on the elevation of Lake Powell. Generally, anything under 3600' offers prime viewing, but lower is probably better. Based on historical Lake levels, September through May offers the best viewing window and February through April has the lowest Lake levels.

Contacts

Shared By:

Steve Springer with improvements by Abe H

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 7 votes

#490

Overall
  5.0 from 7 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#25

in Utah

#490

Overall
166 Views Last Month
14,139 Since May 8, 2017
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Photos

Camping on slickrock at Reflection Canyon is like nothing else.
May 8, 2017 near Escalante, UT
The sun sets over Reflection Canyon.
May 8, 2017 near Escalante, UT
Reflection Canyon glints in the morning sun.
May 8, 2017 near Escalante, UT
Overlooking Reflection Canyon
Apr 25, 2018 near Escalante, UT
Sunrise at Reflection Canyon when Lake Powell's elevation was at 3617' - towards the highest levels of the year.
Oct 23, 2019 near Escalante, UT
Navajo Mountain stands in the distance along the Reflection Canyon Trail.
May 8, 2017 near Escalante, UT

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 56 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Nov 14, 2020
Marc Gephart
About 8 miles each way. About 3.5 hours each way. Sunrise 7:07 but be up by 6:30 for the amazing hues. 16.2mi — 7h 15m
Sep 14, 2019
Abe H
90+ degrees. Trust GPS route; cairns on slickrock lead us south away from viewpoint. No water on trail. Lake Powell at 3617' still beautiful!
May 27, 2019
Jes Widerski
May 25, 2019
John Zenger
15.7mi — 8h 30m
Sep 20, 2018
Or Dreamer
Amazing
May 13, 2018
Gerrit Ebert
May 11, 2018
Dannon See
May 5, 2018
Michael Bobbe