The Sundance Trail

August 10th, 2017

The journey to Dark Canyon and the Sundance Trail was an experience that we’ll not soon forget. Just the drive was an adventure. Located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation, Dark Canyon plunges 1,600 feet from the canyon rim to the canyon floor. The Sundance Trail is a cairned slick rock trail that provides wonderful views of the canyon below and the surrounding area that you never forget.

To reach the trail head requires a 12-mile drive on dirt roads without clear marking to let you know if you are on the right road. The drive to the trail provided a contrasting view of the sandstone desert and the snow capped Manti La Sal mountains in the background.

The Sundance Trail leads to where you drop into the cavern of Dark Canyon. It is an easy straight forward hike with lots to see over the 2.2 miles it takes to reach the canyon rim. The surface is mostly slick rock and not much elevation gain and loss. We encountered interesting rock formations in addition to the ruggedness of Dark Canyon.

Looking down into the abyss of Dark Canyon was amazing. We didn’t have time to explore the canyon as we arrived in late afternoon after driving from Montrose. Since I have video plus some still images, I think you will get a pretty good grasp of the hike.


Returning to Highway 95 proved to be another story. The road marker we needed to make it out had been knocked down by the grader and not replaced. This resulted in a missed turn and a lengthy back track making it a long trip.

The Sundance Trail is adjacent to Natural Bridges National Monument and its amazing bridge structures. The White River runs through the region and offers numerous slot canyon to explore. We need to go back for more exploration and adventure.

Enjoy the video of our adventure.