Little Colorado River Trails

Once the bottom of the Little Colorado gorge is reached, hiking up and down along the entire length of the 58-mile shore is possible (during the right conditions). The various side trails into the Little Colorado (like Horse, Salt, and Wesley Powell) put the hiker into the gorge at various distances from the confluence with the Colorado River and Grand Canyon.

Travel along the bottom of the gorge is straightforward, but rarely easy. There is little chance of getting lost – one simply heads either “up” or “down canyon.” The difficulty lies in the terrain itself and the absolute lack of established trail or route for much of the 58-mile gorge.

The closer one gets to the confluence with the Colorado, the more apparent and well-worn the trails become. The best strategy when heading downstream from Salt Canyon is to stay river-right until the trail closes into dense, scratchy thickets – not too long after leaving the research outpost and helipad at Salt Canyon. Once the muddy, scratchy route becomes elusive, confluence-bound hikers should ford the Little Colorado and complete the remainder of the journey on river-left.

The last couple miles to the confluence are well-trod on both riverbanks. Rafters frequently dock at the confluence and explore the bottom of the gorge along a well-established route along river-right.

Horse Trail Canyon to Blue Spring