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Negro Bill Canyon Trail, Moab

(500+ reviews on the web)
Hiking Trail
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a beautiful hike with multiple streams and shade trees. The trail goes through the shallow streams many times. It is 2 1/4 mile in to morning glory arch... seems much longer!! But it is well w...  more »
  • Named after the 1870-era cowboy William Granstaff, this 2.5 mile each way hike is different from almost anything else in the Moab area. The sign at parking lot enrance calls this "Grandstaff Trailhead...  more »
  • This is one of our favorite hikes in Moab. We typically save this hike for later in our trip, as it is a fairly easy hike after you've been out playing hard. The sandy trail and running water always m...  more »