Press "Enter" to skip to content

Bangs Canyon: Rough Canyon Loop

After Work Adventures | Tuesday, April 23, 2024

As I’ve been trying to hike more local trails during the week, I realized that I had not hiked much of Rough Canyon within the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area and thought it was finally time to remedy that oversight after work today. So this afternoon I drove up to the Bangs Canyon Trailhead and started hiking down Rough Canyon from where it splits off from the more popular Mica Mine Trail. I mistakenly thought this was going to be an easy hike along a good trail the entire way, but there turned out to be a bit more scrambling and route-finding along the way than I was expecting. It was nothing too difficult, but I had just assumed there would be a well-used trail down the canyon since it’s in a popular area close to town. I followed the the canyon downstream until it opened up near the mouth of Cross Canyon and then met up with the Tabeguache Trail which I followed back up to the trailhead to complete a loop. It turned out to be a nice loop through a rugged canyon that’s pretty close to home.

Dropping into Rough Canyon from the popular Mica Mine Trail.

Into Rough Canyon

Following Rough Canyon downstream.

Rough Canyon

Since I was walking right by them, I stopped to visit the petroglyphs along the way.



This drop is probably the furthest I have hiked down the canyon in the past, so the rest of the canyon would be all new territory for me today.

The First Drop

Rough Canyon Narrows

Rough Canyon Narrows

Canyon Wall & Clouds

Canyon Wall

Hiking down the rugged canyon…

Rough Canyon

Rough Canyon Wall

Rough Canyon

Rough Canyon

Before reaching the Tabeguache Trail I hiked up Clarks Fork little way until I reached a small waterfall that blocked my progress.

Clarks Fork
Clarks Bench Fork

Red Walls & Green Trees

Green Trees

Just past the mouth of Clarks Fork the canyon walls begin to recede.

Leaving the Canyon

The views really began to open up as I crossed a large expanse of sandstone above the Rough Canyon Falls area.

Above Rough Canyon Falls

Sandstone Chute

Looking over lower Rough Canyon to the Grand Mesa.

Lower Rough Canyon

Hiking back up the Tabeguache Trail which follows steep slickrock for much of the way.

Up the Tabeguache Trail

Rough Canyon Country

Rough Canyon Country

Horse Mesa

Horse Mesa

Which way should I go?

Easier - Harder

The Tabeguache Trail

Tabeguache Trail

Clarks Bench

Clarks Bench

Returning to the trailhead just below Haystack 3 Point.

Haystack 3 Point

>> Rough Canyon Loop Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. Judy Tilley
    Judy Tilley May 16, 2024

    Thanks for sharing your neighborhood.

Leave a Reply