2015  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

Denali

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
Previous       2015 Journal Topics       Home       Next
 

   RED CANYON TRAILS:  LOSEE & CASTO CANYON

  FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

 
"This single-track trail travels a wash in the bottom of Losee Canyon. Red rock formations     
are dazzling. There are no ridges, spines, or steep elevations. At the head of the canyon
[the high spot] this trail connects with the Cassidy Trail, where you can go
south to Red Canyon or north to Casto Canyon."
 
~ US Forest Service Red Canyon trail map description of the Losee Canyon Trail
 
 

The Losee and Casto Canyon trails are both located back dirt/gravel Casto Canyon Road, which intersects with Scenic Byway 12 about half a mile before the "gateway" to Red Canyon as you're driving east toward Bryce Canyon National Park.

Losee Canyon is about two miles back this mostly-smooth Forest Service road. Casto Canyon is another mile farther. The road to this point is fine for any passenger car, truck, or RV.

Here's a map section from the US Forest Service web page for the Red Canyon trail system:

I marked both trailheads and the short distance I hiked back each canyon one weekday morning in late September.

I had planned to hike back a couple miles in Losee Canyon that day with Cody. I had my Camelbak bladder full of water -- but forgot his water bowl. My bad. I went into Losee Canyon just half a mile and out, gave Cody water from his container in the car, drove back to Casto Canyon, and hiked half a mile into that canyon before turning around.


Casto Canyon Rd. just before the Losee Canyon trailhead

That gave us a total of two miles but it didn't give me much of a feel for either canyon except that I liked the first half mile of Casto Canyon better.

I didn't go back to hike again in either canyon during our fall visit to the area. In May, 2016 I did the whole Casto-Cassidy-Losee Loop (about 12 miles) so I'll report later with much more information and many more photos.

LOSEE CANYON

This trail starts on Casto Canyon Road, heads east, and gradually rises 570 feet over three miles to the Cassidy Trail. It is open to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.

There is plenty of parking at the trailhead or across the road for passenger vehicles and horse trailers. This is also the trailhead for the Arches Trail so it may get crowded on weekends.

The day I hiked back the canyon with Cody there was only one other vehicle at the trailhead but I noticed both ATV and horse trailers at the beginning of Casto Canyon Rd. I didn't see anyone else during the short time I was on both these canyon trails that day, however (and surprisingly few when I did the whole 12-mile loop the next spring) .

 

Some folks start the hike on a single-track trail in the parking area (two photos above). I went out that way and came back in the wash when I saw a trail going through it, too (photo directly above). I think the trail through the wash is probably what the equestrians use the most.

Here are more photos from the first half mile of this trail:

 

 

 

 

 

 

After that short hike I drove another mile on Casto Canyon Rd. to Casto Canyon. The road gets a little rougher at the wash right before this trailhead:

On this trip the wash was completely dry. In May of 2016 there was water flowing across the road but I crossed OK in our Odyssey minivan.

CASTO CANYON

The web description of Casto Canyon Trail reads, "With colorful red rock formations and classic canyon scenery, you won't want to miss this one." 

I did enjoy the first half mile of the trail this fall -- and the rest of it nine months later.


See the little "window" on the left?  I look for those on every trail in Red Canyon.

There is a little bit of parking on the right near the trailhead plus a good-sized parking area on the left across the road.

Casto Canyon is open to hikers, cyclists, equestrians, and off-road vehicles (ORVs) -- ATVs, dirt bikes, etc. -- but a sign at a gate near the trailhead says vehicles must not exceed 50 inches in width. So that means no Jeeps or such:

 

 

This trail very gradually ascends through the canyon for 5 miles to the Cassidy Trail, gaining only 800 feet of elevation in that distance. The trail crosses the wash a number of times and sometimes goes right through it.

ORVs can't ride on the Cassidy Trail so they have to veer off prior to that on either the Barney Cove or Freemont trails. I didn't show those on the map segment above but you can see the whole trail network at the USFS website link.

Here are some photos from the first half mile of this trail:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two trails through the canyons are even hotter than trails in Red Canyon that get up on mesas where there are some breezes, and there aren't very many trees along the washes for a shady respite. Nor was there any water in the wash in the fall (there was a little in the spring).

So take plenty of water for you and your critters, if you hike or ride with a dog or horse.

If you aren't able to hike, run, or ride these trails consider a guided ATV or horseback ride so you can see these trails close up. There are businesses in the area that provide these services.

Next entryCassidy, Ledge Point, and Rich Trail loops

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

Previous       Next

2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

-