Black Gulch

This moderately strenuous, lightly used route is most often accessed from the Black Gulch trailhead located on the Cottonwood Road  about 2 miles west of the Yellow Knolls trailhead.  To get to the start of the trail, cross the stepover to Lange’s Dugway and follow it downslope ¼ mile to the bottom of the drainage.  The Black Gulch trail begins at that point and drops south for about 2 miles to its termination at its junction with the Winchester trail.  The trail is a moderately scenic route winding through a narrow canyon with black, volcanic boulders that involve some rock scrambling and pools of water after rains.  A few slickrock sections with sculptured features are found in the middle of the canyon.  Floral displays happen at various time of the year during wet periods.  The “gulch” is renowned for above average populations of rattle snakes and hikers are cautioned to be careful.  The route is impossible for bikes and not recommended for most equestrians.  User trails exist on upland benches in portions of the canyon to help hikers avoid some of the boulders.  Elevation loss from top to bottom is about 450 feet.  Hikers can make a 5-mile loop hike after leaving Black Gulch and proceeding east ½ mile on the Winchester trail and then hiking the 2-mile section of the Cottonwood Road back to the original trailhead parking area.  A slightly longer but far more interesting loop is possible by doing the above-described loop and continuing on the beautiful Yellow Knolls trail across the road from the east stepover of the Winchester trail and returning to the Black Gulch trailhead via the High Point trail.  Hikers may do the reverse direction of either loop by beginning their hike out of the Yellow Knolls trailhead parking area and entering the Winchester trail through its stepover across the road en route to the bottom of the Black Gulch trail.  The trail and loop options cross lands entirely administered by the Bureau of Land Management in the Red Cliffs NCA.

BLM Website for Black Gulch

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