Marinus Canyon

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 4+ miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 3965 - 4205 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 3 hrs.
Trailhead: Marinus Canyon
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic canyon, Apache plume




Marinus Canyon is located in the North Wash area between Hanksville and Hite, Utah. The scenic redrock canyon is an eastern tributary to the North Wash drainage. Most of its popularity is probably due to being featured in several Falcon Guides that cover this portion of the State of Utah. Because of its remote location though, there is a good chance that you might not run into any other hikers if you decide to go for a visit.


The trailhead is located on Utah Highway 95 at about mile marker 34.5. Since mile marker 0 is at Hanksville that makes it 34.5 miles from there. There should be enough room for at least 3 vehicles to park without blocking each other.


The trail leads into the canyon through a primitive campsite.


After a short distance the route enters the main wash of the canyon which becomes the trail from that point on.


Within a quarter mile or so the wash becomes choked with boulders that can be bypassed by a short scramble up the bank on the right hand side of the wash.


Hiking is somewhat slow after re-entering the sandy wash as you search out the best route through a plethora of rocks.


Apache plume line the wash in places. Their fragrant springtime flowers develop into a very distinct swirling feathery plume.


There are also a few wild lilac bushes in Marinus Canyon.


Add to that some cliffrose and you end up with an intermingled array of colors and aroma that is sure to enliven the senses.


Marinus Canyon doesn't have much in the way of water and what it does have is probably seasonal.


For this post we turned around at the boulder field that comes up where the canyon forks. According to the guide book that we had there are spillovers that eventually block progress up both forks. The book suggested hiking the right fork and turning around when you reach the spillover there.


The biggest reason that we turned around where we did was because it had started raining and it lasted all the way back to the trailhead. The wash in Marinus Canyon is pretty rocky but the hike is still enjoyable with the various types of vegetation and the decent scenery that its high canyon walls provide. It is interesting how unique Hog Canyon, Butler Canyon, Stair Canyon and Marinus Canyon are from each other when they all have very similar geology and are in close proximity to each other. For that reason alone Marinus Canyon is worth checking out. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.