Round Trip Distance: 5.6 miles
Elevation: 4600-4960 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Usage: Hiking -Dogs - Equestrian - No bikes - No OHV
Time: 3 hrs. 30 min.
Facilities: Vault toilet at trailhead
Trailhead: Devils Canyon
View Devil's Canyon D5 in a larger map
There is quite the system of trails available from the Devils Canyon trailhead. There are about 6 trails that are labeled as Devils Canyon trails and a dozen or so for Kodel Canyon which is off to the east. On this hike we chose to explore the D5 trail. The D5 trail takes a route that is the furthest west of the other trails.
After leaving the parking area the trail begins by passing through a gate where it follows a road for a quarter of a mile to another visitor information area. It seemed peculiar to me that they have two of these within a quarter of a mile of each other. There is a box here where you can pick up a trail map that shows all of the Devils Canyon and Kodel Canyon trails.
We continued down the road, crossing a bridge that spans the creek, until we reached the first fork in the trail. On this hike we followed the trail to the right following the D5 arrow.
We passed the D4 fork around the half mile point and came to the spot where the D5 trail begins climbing fairly steeply up the ridge about .6 miles from the trailhead. This isn't steep like climbing Mt. Garfield or Liberty Cap but it is more like hiking Pollock Bench or the Flume Canyon trails. If you are in pretty good shape you probably won't notice it much.
After reaching the 1 mile point the trail leveled off and began skirting the rim of the canyon. Looking down we could see the D4 trail and parts of the D1 trail.
This part of the hike was a little reminiscent of the Pollock Bench trail where it skirts Pollock Canyon. The views aren't the same but the hiking is similar.
We crossed the Wilderness boundary at about 1.2 miles and around 2.6 miles we reached what appeared to be the highest point on this route at 5218 feet.
From here we could look west over Flume Canyon and the Pollock Bench area. The trail joined up with the D1 branch around 2.6 miles after descending towards Flume Canyon. From here we could have hiked further west into Flume Canyon following the D1 markers to where the trail junctions with the Flume Canyon trail.
Instead we followed the D1 trail to the east. The trail descended for a short steep distance and met up with the upper end of the D6 trail. We could have taken the D6 trail down a ravine and rejoined the lower part of the D1 trail but instead we continued on east.
The trail traversed easterly, not changing much in altitude, until we reached a spot at about 3.4 miles where we could look out into Devils Canyon. It had taken us about 2 hours to reach this spot but we weren't in any hurry and had spent a bit of time taking pictures. We walked out to another overlook spot and then started following the trail down an old road as it descended back into the lower canyon area.
We had a pleasant hike as the trail crossed the lower sections heading back towards the trailhead. We stopped at an old home site and explored some of what they had left behind trying to imagine what it may have been like when people were still living there. This hike took us on a route that most people don't use. When we had arrived at the trailhead there were quite a few vehicles in the lot but we didn't see anyone on the trail except in the lower areas not too far from the trailhead. That seems to be the case for the most part around Devils Canyon. It seems that most of the people are there for short walks. This would me a good route for someone wanting to do a little trail running that involved some hills. There is enough climbing to make the shorter distance seem like a respectable outing. If you want to see it for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.