Spring Torrey Trip Day 2 – Poison Springs to Dirty Devil

St. George Jeepers Trail Report – May 9, 2017

Spring Torrey Trip Day 2 – Poison Springs to Dirty Devil

Under a heavy overcast, the St. George Jeepers met at the Silver Eagle service center in Hanksville, Utah. From this point the group broke in to two trips, one led by Ron and Joan Bryce, the other by Joan and Phil Hayes. This report will cover the Bryce trip which began with a drive down the amazing Poison Spring Canyon. 

Our trail leader’s hybrid vehicle. He was rumored to have claimed more trailworthiness and reliability since installing the Jeep aftermarket part.

From the Silver Eagle we drove south on UT 95. UT 95 crosses over the canyon at milepost 17, and just north of the bridge a side track on the east side leads all the way along to the junction with the Dirty Devil River, a distance of about 16 miles of which only the first few miles are suitable for 2WD cars, and if recently flooded, deep mud in the streambed can halt even 4WD vehicles.

The main drainage is always wide, but its smaller tributaries are narrower and looked inviting for hiking. Some of those on the north side, including the only named drainage (Adobe Swale) may be slot canyons, but the narrowest seem to be on the south side, and they can be reached either from the lower end by the 4WD track, or more easily by a good quality dirt road that leaves UT 95 near milepost 21, just opposite the end of the loop road to Bull Mountain and the Little Egypt scenic area. Poison Spring Canyon, (Garfield County) originates in the Henry Mountains, four miles east of Bull Mountain where it drains east into the Dirty Devil River.

At the trailhead to Poison Spring Canyon. 

Driving down Poison Spring Canyon.

Poison Spring. Although the water is tainted, it has been reported as drinkable. 

Toadstools along the trail

Light showers certainly kept the dust down, but not the enthusiasm. 

At the Dirty Devil River crossing. 


Milt and Sharlett Thompson and Mike Gardner cross the Dirty Devil. 

Below, Carol Steck, driving, and Bud Sanders make the crossing. 

Views of the Dirty Devil from above. 

The mass of lodged debris below the stream gauging station indicate how high the water level can be. 

Fleabane daisy, Erigeron spp. 

On the trail leading to the Golden  Trail. 

White-stemmed Evening Primrose – Oenothera pallida

Desert paintbrush – Castilleja chromsa 

Two gopher snakes, also known as bull snakes, observed along the trail. Each was 4+ feet long. 

Cliffrose – Cowania mexicana 

Lunch at Sunset Pass 

Jeeps in the distance starting up the Golden Staircase. 

The Maze Overlook 

Climbing the cliff in Flint Cove and entering one of several switchbacks where three-point turns are unavoidable. 

(Most likely) Arizona lupine – Lupinus arizonicus 

Hans Flat Ranger Station 

Due to the time of arrival at Hans Flat Ranger Station, it was mutually agreed to forego the planned trip to Butch Cassidy’s Robbers Roost. This was a wonderful trip and enjoyed by all. 

Submitted by Bud Sanders

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