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Negro Bill Canyon Trail, Moab

4.7
#1 of 9 in Trails in Moab
Hiking Trail 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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526 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We did this hike on a whim because we heard that it was shady and the day was forecast to be near 100. We left at 11am as we were not planning to hike, but it was fine, just as long as you bring enoug...  more »
  • Make sure to pay attention to the trail markings or you may do some interesting river crossings and wear bug spray. Otherwise - nice little hike!  more »
  • This trail hugs a river bottom and winds along through sometimes lush river side foliage. Bring your mosquito repellant. As I remember this is a mostly easy hike with a few spots being a bit steeper. ...  more »

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Where to stay in Moab

For affordable accommodations away from tourist crowds, stay outside Moab's busy downtown. Many inns in this area offer free shuttle services to the central part of town, allowing you quick and easy access to Moab's finest shops and restaurants. If you do not plan to spend much time in your room, consider staying at a budget-friendly motel or hostel. For the ultimate in outdoorsy options, campgrounds inside the area's national parks make up what they lack in modern amenities with their panoramic views of the red desert.
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