Hike to the Golden Cathedral
Utah › Golden Cathedral
Added by Thomas Burton
Golden Cathedral is a very neat rock formation located in the heart of the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. It is a little difficult to get to but a really special place.
From highway 12, drive south down the hole in the rock road for about 17 miles to a dirt road on the left that is well marked for Egypt. Follow that dirt road 9.9 miles to the Egypt Trailhead. There is a BLM trail register at the trail head. After that, take one of the numerous ways down to the Escalante River. We decided to go down Fence Canyon and camp at the Escalante River for a night but you could also just head straight for the mouth of the canyon using a topo map to find a safe way to descend down to the Escalante River.
Finding the mouth of Neon Canyon wasn't too difficult because it is one of the only canyons that has a mouth on the left side of the Escalante River as you are looking down river. We did have to bushwhack a little in order to make it. Once in Neon, the trail was easy to follow and there were no problems.
It is a pretty short hike from the entrance of Neon Canyon to the Golden Cathedral. It only took us about 30 minutes. Dogs are allowed to visit the Golden Cathedral but must be kept on leash. Form there return the way you came.
- Water and/or Purifier
- Overnight gear if spending the night
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This hike is pretty long...
And you have to do your homework. Crossing 25-Mile-Wash on Egypt Road might be difficult in a normal passenger car, and even impossible after rainfall. The hike down Fence Canyon is easy, The trail is well marked with cairns. Getting down to the river might require some root finding skills. Depending on the weather, the crossing of the Escalante river might be difficult. After recent rain falls in the water may reach up to your belly. The hike back to the parking lot is quite a climb and can be strenuous and hot if you go there in the afternoon, so, be sure to make an early start. If you do this as a day hike, plan for about 4 to 6 hours. Better check back with the BLM office in Escalante concerning the road, river and weather conditions before you start !
The trail was steep in some areas. Do your research before you go it's not the best marked trail and it's easy to pass it. Highly recommend water shoes and plenty of water. I would plan a minimum of 7 hours to hike and explore on the way.
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