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Round Valley Draw - Grand Staircase Escalante


A scenic, non-technical slot canyon with a few climbing obstacles. Having at least one good climber in your group to help the less experienced is advised. The canyon is usually dry, but pools and mud may be encountered after rainstorms. Do not attempt this hike if heavy rains threaten.


The road to Round Valley Draw branches off of Cottonwood Road (note: Cottonwood Road is the 46 mile long dirt road which connects Highway 89 with Highway 12 at Cannonville, UT) about half way between Kodachrome Basin State Park and Grosvenor Arch. Look for the sign for  Round Valley Draw on the south side of Cottonwood Road. Head south on this road (Rushbed Road, also called Forest Road #422). Drive ~2 miles to a parking spot and trail register.

Road Conditions:

Passenger Car




~6 miles roundtrip

Date Hiked:

November, 1999 and April 2008

Weather Conditions:


Required Skills:

Hike Description:

From the car park, begin walking down the wide rocky wash. After about a mile a sandstone shelf appears under foot, and soon you reach the beginning of the slot canyon. You will be faced with a bit of a down climb to work your way into this narrow and twisty slot. Once in the bottom, simply head down canyon. There are a few boulder problems as you proceed, but be aware that the canyon can change with every flood. The canyon is deep, narrow and sculpted, but the yellow/gray walls and dim lighting make getting good photographs difficult. As you near the junction with Hackberry Canyon the canyon widens and there is a hiker trail on the right which follows the rim back to the top of Round Valley Draw. Proceeding a short distance down canyon, Hackberry Canyon enters from the right. This makes for a good turn-around point. Those wishing to see the canyon in reverse can retrace their steps, otherwise follow the hikers trail up to, and along, the rim back to your vehicle.

Rating (1-5 stars):

The author and his wife completed this hike in a leisurely 4.5 hours. I later returned to get better photos.


Trails Illustrated - Canyons of the Escalante


Canyon Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateau - Michael Kelsey
Hiking and Exploring the Paria River - Michael Kelsey


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The narrows of Round Valley Draw.