Dalton Wash Road

Total Miles


1362.51 ft


2 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

Dalton Wash Road is a 9-mile out-and-back dirt road that passes through Dalton Wash--a mix of red rock "canyon", dry desert slopes, juniper woodlands, and arid shrubland. Note: the best time of day to visit this trail is mid to late afternoon when the sun is to the west and shining on the mountain face. This trail is rated 2 of 10 but can increase in difficulty after heavy rains or in snow. The first 3.5 miles of the road are typically well-maintained and graded once a year. Once you pass the Open Sky lodging site the road becomes a 3 of 10 rated trail. The trail commences the final climb up can be rutted or rock-strewn (watch for falling rock). The trail may be closed by the BLM if significant damage occurs during the season. At first, the road won't seem all that interesting. There are a few prominent buttes rising above the dirt route as it follows the path of its namesake wash up a canyon. Soon the road levels out at the top of a mesa and the landscape opens up to an agricultural area, surprisingly. The road forks and a sign pointing left that indicate north as the right direction for hiking and biking trails. The right fork leads to private property and a locked gate. Continue generally northward through the orchard and eventually the mesa becomes more of a valley as cliffs rise up on both sides, gradually narrowing farther north. Stay the main trail as most side trails in this area lead to private property. The road narrows as it curves to the northeast and begins to steeply ascend the side of a canyon. The trail will become more rugged at this point and will seem quite different from the orchards less than a mile below. Upon cresting to the upper mesa views are spectacular. To the southeast is a large cinder cone. To the northeast are some strikingly jagged red cliffs and directly east is the best view of (from left to right) Bishopric West, the Alter of Sacrifice, West Temple, and Mt. Kinesava. There are various side trails on the mesa to explore but please respect private property and locked gates (plan on additional time if you want to explore). The Dalton Wash Road ends at the trailhead for the Guacamole mountain bike trail and a little further southeast is the Zion National Park trail access for Dalton Wash Trailhead. Day hikes into the park are allowed without a permit. Overnight stays require a Backcountry Permit from the park service.


Trail consisting of loose rocks, dirt, and sand with some slickrock surfaces, mud holes possible, no steps higher than 12".

Technical Rating


Access Description

From the U.S. Post Office in Virgin, go east on SR-9 for 1.4 miles till you reach the turn off to Dalton Wash Road on your left. Turn here and you are in the wash.