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Negro Bill Canyon Trail, Moab

4.7
#3 of 17 in Trails in Moab
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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Negro Bill Canyon Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
595 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a wonderful hike outside of Moab. Nothing too technical yet has stunning scenery. If you go on a windy day be prepared to return covered in sand (but that will happen with any trail in the are...  more »
  • This was my favorite hike in Utah. Hiking in the canyon, along the river was so beautiful. We did Canyoneering with Red River Adventures in this canyon. I highly recommend them and this experience!  more »

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