Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
375.00 ft (114.30 m)
Trail type
6.40 mi (10.30 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Bighorn Canyon is a hidden gem in Escalante National Monument.  It sees very little foot traffic compared to neighboring canyons along Hole in the Rock road.  From Route 12 in Escalante, take Hole In The Rock road for 4.5 miles until you see a blue water storage container (shaped like a cargo container).  Parking is across from the container.  Cross the road and walk down a short dirt road to Cottonwood Wash.  The bank here is eroded so there is a drop down into the wash and there could be water.  During late spring and through summer, the water is easy enough to jump across.

The trail leaves the wash occasionlly and crosses banks for a more direct approach.  After about 1 mile you begin to see beautiful sandstone features and colors from erosion and time.  Bighorn canyon is reached when the route arrives at a wash gate that no longer in operation.  Turn here and under the gate.  Bighorn canyon has two branches.  The left is shorter than the main branch.  You can explore either one first and return the way you wne in to explore the next.  There is amazing erosion features and colors through both branches. It is possible to explore further on if you have time.  Return the way you came in, back to the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Shallow slot canyon with amazing features.


Deep sand at times and several stream crossings. Can be muddy at the beginning.

Trailhead Elevation

5,368.00 ft (1,636.17 m)

Highest point

5,438.00 ft (1,657.50 m)


Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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