Hornet Canyon Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,295' 395 m
Descent: -1,298' -396 m
High: 6,176' 1,882 m
Low: 4,878' 1,487 m
GradeAvg Grade: 23% (13°)
Max Grade: 112% (48°)
Current trail conditions
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“A fun afternoon loop below the massive Hornet Canyon Cliffs.”— Abandoned User
Note that this loop provides access to a few approaches that take you up above the massive cliffs. One is taken at the point where the trail crosses Hornet Creek. Follow the drainage straight up for a ways, and then leave it to follow the north shoulder of the cliffs. As of this writing, tree tags aid in the route-finding process.
Another approach is to make your way up the center ridge proper, to the base of the cliffs. This is a horrible bush-wack rewarded by some fun 4th and 5th class scrambling/climbing. If you route-find carefully enough, there is nothing too risky about this way of gaining the top of the cliffs.
Yet a third approach is to take the south fork at the top of the trail following the center ridge. This has become quite overgrown in recent years, but unlike the other approaches, it is a trail nevertheless. Follow it around the south flank of the cliffs until it bends east then north to gain the ridge up above the cliffs.
From above the cliffs, you can follow the ridge up to a saddle overlooking Farmington Lake. Note that there is a descent that takes you to Flag Rock (the Centennial trail), but it is a bit hard to follow. In any case, be careful on your descent, and don't forget the headlamp.
Steed Canyon is the first place I've encountered a black bear in the Wasatch.
I've seen several rattle snakes on this loop. When scrambling up rocks and boulders, be weary of where you are placing your hands, especially as you top-out over a lip. I once almost put my hand in the coil of a big diamond-head-shaped rattle-snake.
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Dogs Allowed, History & Background
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Land Manager: USFS - Uinta, Wasatch & Cache National Forests Office