Round Trip Distance: 2.7 miles
Elevation: 5672 - 5897 feet
Cellphone: 2 - 5 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Equestrian - Dogs - ATV - OHV
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Third Flats
Attractions: Multiple use trails
View Third Flats Canyon View in a larger map
The Canyon View trail is located in the Third Flats section of the BLM Bangs Canyon Management Area. The Third Flats Area doesn't have an official parking area. There are signs near the entrance that direct people to the Bangs Canyon Staging Area to park. The area around the kiosk is all posted 'No Parking'. With that said, most people who use the area either park on the hill on the west side of Little Park Road or if they have a high clearance vehicle they drive past the trailhead kiosk and park in one of the spots a little further in.
The trailhead kiosk has a nice map of the Third Flats trails. You can also download a map from the BLM to printout and take with you.
The Canyon View trail begins almost 1 mile from the parking area on Little Park Road. The best route to the upper end of the trail is to follow the Third Flats Road to the beginning of the Quad Rocker Loop turnoff. It is about 1/2 mile from the parking area.
The trail drops through a shallow wash and does a gentle climb up the side of the hill to the beginning of the Quad Rocker Loop where you can follow it to the left.
The Quad Rocker trail travels around the east side of the hillside, crosses the Cedar Point Road, and continues around hill. After hiking about 1/2 mile from where you turned off of the Third Flats Road you will be at the beginning of the Canyon View trail. This puts you at about 1 mile from the parking area.
The Canyon View trail follows an old double track along the north side of the canyon. The trail descends continually for about a half of a mile. The canyon becomes shallower the further you hike. If you are interested in rockhounding you might be able to spot a good specimen of chert or perhaps even a moqui ball.
Towards the lower end of the trail it makes a big 'S' curve or double switchback to regain the top of the ridge.
At the point where the trail ends you have only hiked about 1.4 miles from the parking area. If you were to continue to the right the trail would take you down to the Billings Canyon Road and the beginning of the Art Cooks View trail. Taking the road to the left leads back to the Third Flats Road which will take you back to the parking area.
At the 1.7 mile point you will pass by the upper end of the Billings Canyon Jeep trail. This infamous stretch of 4x4 canyon is restricted to only the well prepared/built jeeps or equivalent vehicles who must conquer the trail from the bottom up.
After 1.8 miles you are back on the Third Flats Road and passing the intersection of the Nut-N-2-It trail. From this spot there is about 1 more mile of hiking to get back to the parking area.
The half mile heading back on the Third Flats Road is a steady uphill climb. None of it is exceptionally steep but if you are out of shape or jogging this stretch of road will raise the level of your workout.
If you have a high clearance vehicle you could drive in to the beginning of the Quad Rocker trail and cut a mile off of the hike but that first mile is some pretty easy hiking anyway. The Canyon View trail is a relatively short hike that is adjacent to several other trails if you would like to stretch it out. There are a few good views of the valley and surrounding area but mostly it is just somewhere different to go. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.