Backpack Great Gulch: Kane Gulch to Bullet Canyon

Utah Kane Gulch Trailhead

Added by Ian Glass

Great Gulch is a remote area with minimal hiking/camping traffic and is on BLM Land (Bureau of Land Management) i.e. no designated campsites. Explore cliff dwellers, artifacts, and pictographs. Kane to Bullet is a 3-4 day hike.

One of the many wonderful hidden gems in Utah (so just tell you close friends about it).

Kane Gulch is located four miles south of the Highway 95/Highway 261 junction. At the Kane Gulch ranger station you will be able to use restrooms, overnight park your vehicle, pick up permits, and purchase area maps. Even though this area sees much less traffic than Zion and Arches, it is highly recommended that you purchase overnight permits ($5.00/per person/per trip) in advance to secure your trip. It is also recommended to purchase a map of the canyon system (as GPS does not always work) and ask the park rangers a) Where are the water sources? b) Where they would recommend camping? c) What side canyon trips would they recommend. Lastly, before you start your trip, it would be wise to park an extra vehicle at the Bullet Canyon trailhead (if you have an extra vehicle). If not, you will have an additional 8 mile walk along the road back to the Kane Gulch ranger station. There is the option of locking bicycles up at the Bullet Canyon trailhead (I'd recommend a mountain bike because of the rough backroads) if a second vehicle isn't available... the bike ride would be rough and that person would certainly deserve free beer on the drive home.

Once you start off into the canyon, things will seem rather prosaic. However, as you drop further and further into the canyon begins to deliver breathtakingly unique features. Be sure to watch the canyons walls. Grand Gulch is an on-going archeology site meaning, they don't really tell you where every cliff dweller is located (usually around water holes). However, on the flip-side, you can get as close as you like to the dwellers and artifacts when you see one, but please BE RESPECTFUL.

Because water is scarce, you should consider camping next to larger water sources when you find them. Chances are you will also end up camping next to 1000+ year old ruins.

Though the Kane to Bullet trip is rather straight forward, some of the side canyons can be a little deceiving. Be sure to check your map from time to time if you decided to take a side journey to the Green Mask ruins or the Big Man panel (which you should totally do!).

So if you are stoked to check out some amazing ruins on a multi-day canyon trip, permits may be reserved up to 90 days in advance by calling 435-587-1510.

Pack List

  • Permit
  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Two 2 liter water bottles (minimum)
  • Camp stove (no open fire are allowed in Grand Gulch)
  • Clothing layers (desert temperatures fluctuate from day to night)
  • Hiking boots
  • Camp shoes (optional)
  • Hiking pools (optional)
  • Camp chair (optional... but why not?)
  • Sun hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Autumn, Winter

Trail Type:



25 Miles



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

8 months ago

Is it Great Gulch or Grand Gulch?

Is Great Gulch the same place as Grand Gulch?

8 months ago

Added by Ian Glass

Videographer/Photographer based in Boulder, CO with a penchant for the outdoors // @ianvaso

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