Hog Canyon

Round Trip Distance: 2.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4040 - 4181 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Hog Spring Rest Area
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic pool

Hog Canyon is located in the North Wash Area between Hanksville and Hite, Utah. A popular hike begins at the Hog Spring Rest Area where it follows a primitive trail up the main branch of the canyon to a pool of water that is fed by the spring. The pool lies in a grotto beneath a spillover where it gives life to a hanging garden along with a few trees and reeds. The canyon is also occasionally visited by climbers that repel into the upper branches of Hog Canyon.

The Hog Spring trailhead is 33 miles south of Hanksville, Utah on Highway 95.

The trail starts out along a wheelchair accessible path that leads to several picnic ramadas.

Just before reaching the second picnic area there is a set of steps that leads down to the Hog Canyon trail.

The trail starts out by crossing the small stream. Once across the stream it follows a primitive path as it heads up Hog Canyon. Many hikers have created paths through the reeds. Once flattened the reeds serve as a matting through which the stream is flowing. If the flow is great enough that you are getting your feet wet you can search out one of the higher routes and stay on dry ground.

A side canyon comes up near the 3/4 mile point of the hike. The trail leading in and out of the side canyon is so well worn that it leaves many a hiker with the impression that they should follow it. What you want to do is stay on the right hand side of the stream and continue hiking up the main branch of the canyon.

There is a trail marker on the right side of the canyon that adds to the confusion by seemingly pointing right at the trail that leads into the side canyon. We have explored that canyon and other than being a route used by climbers there isn't much there to interest hikers.

As the trail continues up the main canyon there are a few cairns that begin to appear. While the cairns might add a little comfort there are enough stretches of trail where there aren't any to keep you guessing.

Somewhere around the half mile point past the side canyon the trail arrives at the Hog Spring Pool. Hog Spring itself is maybe another mile or so further up the canyon. If you would like to keep going it is easy enough to scramble and get above the pool where travel gets easy again.

On the way back there are some unremarkable petroglyphs that you can hike up to just before crossing the stream at the mouth of the canyon.

This photo is of a portion of a long snake. There are a few other images as well as a lot of graffiti along the face of the cliff. A talus slope of loose rock makes hiking up to them a bit precarious and they are hard to see from below without a pair of binoculars.

There are a couple of kiosks along the trail that leads to the picnic area that make mention of rock art in the area. One of the kiosks has a picture of the Moki Queen pictograph that looks very remarkable. All it says is that it is nearby but it gives no other clues as to its whereabouts. That is enough to get casual hikers to follow the trail into the canyon. The Moki Queen isn't actually in Hog Canyon but is in an alcove about a quarter mile further south in North Wash. To get there you can either hike along the road from the rest area or along the creek. There is also a panel of petroglyphs across the road from the rest area and about another 1 or 2 hundred feet down the road. If you take along a copy of our map you should be able to find all of them. As far as Hog Canyon itself goes, it is a nice short hike to the pool or you can make a day of it by exploring further up the canyon. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.