Grandstaff Canyon Trail

Grandstaff Canyon was named after William Grandstaff, an African American prospector and rancher who grazed his cattle here during the late 1800s. It is a lovely canyon, cut into the Navajo Sandstone by a small, perennial stream that begins about six miles from the southern shore of the Colorado River. The trail winds along the stream through an oasis of cottonwood and willow trees, cut off from the desert above by towering sandstone cliffs. Like all good hikes, this one also has a reward at the end. Morning Glory Natural Bridge spans the head of one of Grandstaff’s side canyons at the end of the trail. According to Bureau of Land Management statistics, Morning Glory is the sixth largest natural bridge in the United States. It’s span is 243 feet.

Length of Hike

2 miles to Morning Glory Bridge; allow 4 hours round trip.
Type of Hike: Constructed trail with several stream crossings. This is a hiking-only trail.

Area Attractions

Year-round stream in scenic canyon. Morning Glory Natural Bridge, which has a span of 243 feet, is the sixth longest natural rock span in the United States.

Trailhead Location

On Utah Scenic Byway 128, three miles east of junction with U.S. 191.

Route Description

From the parking area next to Utah 128, follow the trail up the left side of the stream. Keep going upstream for about 1.5 miles.

Morning Glory Natural Bridge is located at the end of the second side canyon on the right. The trail forks just below this canyon. Follow the trail to the right, cross the stream, and ascend a steep slope. Morning Glory Bridge is located at the end of the trail about 0.5 miles up the canyon from the stream. Do not touch the poison ivy that grows below the pool under the bridge! Poison ivy plants have dark green, shiny leaves with serrated edges in clusters of three.

When you reach Grandstaff Canyon, while at the parking lot, make sure you read the information sign. There is a lot of poison ivy in this canyon, so you need to be careful. Your destination is Morning Glory Bridge, which is 2 1/5 (not 2!) miles up the canyon. Follow the trail, making sure to enjoy the large canyon walls, plant life, and small creek (which you will cross several times, so your feet may get wet!), to name a few things! There is an abundance of cactus, so watch your ankles! A few miles up the trail, there will be a small sign on a trail marker indicating the right turn to the Bridge. You’re almost there! Just a few small uphill climbs, and you’ll be able to see the bridge. Follow the trail until you are standing near or under the bridge. Enjoy the view! Most of the time there is a pool of water below it, and you’ll be able to hear the water flowing from the rock wall from an underground spring! It’s a beautiful oasis in the summer!

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