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Grandstaff Canyon Trail, Moab

#4 of 16 in Trails in Moab
Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Negro Bill Canyon is a canyon in southeast Utah. It is part of the Colorado River watershed. Its stream flows directly into the main channel of the Colorado River within Moab Canyon.
A trailhead which gives hiking access into the canyon is located directly adjacent to Utah State Route 128. The trailhead is located about three miles east of the junction of Route 128 and US Route 191. The Morning Glory Arch/Natural Bridge is located about 2.5 miles from the trailhead and has a length of 243 feet .
The canyon was named after William Granstaff, a mixed-race cowboy, who prospected and ran cattle in the desert canyon in the late 1870s with a Canadian trapper named "Frenchie". They took joint possession of the abandoned Elk Mountain Mission fort near Moab after 1877, and each controlled part of the Spanish Valley. Granstaff fled the area in 1881 after being charged with bootlegging whiskey to the Indians.
Until the 1960s, the canyon was named 'Nigger Bill Canyon'.
In 1979 the canyon was the scene of a dispute over public vehicle access, sometimes called the Sagebrush Rebellion.
In the wake of the 2015 Charleston church shooting, local councilwoman Mary McGann called for the renaming of the canyon to the more formal 'Granstaff Canyon'. The president of the Salt Lake City chapter of the NAACP opposes the change.
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Grandstaff Canyon Trail reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
623 reviews
  • An unexpected and underrated arch that rivals the big ones. The difference is you will be hiking through the valley, stream, rocks and other areas about 2.5 miles (1 hour) one way to get there. But...  more »
  • This trail is excellent for a half-day hike. From the trailhead it doen't take long until you are hiking along a stream. If you continue all the way to Morning Glory Bridge you can watch the...  more »
  • A fairly easy hike, had quite a few rollers. I would recommend going early so the temp is lower and a decent amount of the trail is shaded. The views are very nice with lots of rock formations along the way. Getting to the bridge is worth the hike and shaded pleasant area to rest before the return hike.
  • Great ride along the Colorado river and scenic overlooks. A couple of small sand beach areas, and one with a boat launch for small boats.

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