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Mill Creek North Fork Trail and Grandstaff Trail, Moab UT

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

One cool, bright Sunday morning in mid-October, my lovely wife and I took a day trip out to Moab, Utah with our sights set on hiking Mill Creek North Fork Trail. We were underprepared in the footwear department as the trail crosses Mill Creek several times on the way to the sought-after waterfall and we were forced to turn back early due to the frigid water temperatures icing our toes one too many times. However, we had a really enjoyable time attempting this trail.

The trail to the waterfall is a little less than a mile long hike from the parking lot at the end of Powerhouse Lane and is a popular destination for folks in search of a refreshing swimming hole near the base of the falls. The hike is cited as easy on several hiking websites and I would agree with that rating if not for the initial ledge shuffle on slippery sandstone walls. This challenge comes right at the beginning of the hike and was almost enough to make us turn back. Our advice would be to wear grippy rubber shoes that are designed to get wet.

Along the route are opportunities to spot petroglyphs in the soft rock that hugs the trail.

After our abbreviated hike, we stopped by Pasta Jay’s for their fresh made pasta lunch and headed to Grandstaff trail via route 128.

If you’ve got the time, we certainly recommend taking scenic route 128 from Grand Junction to Moab and vice versa. The beautiful red rock spires created by millennia of river flows have made this windy canyon road a sight to behold. Coupled with the snow capped backdrop of the Rocky Mountains make for an unforgettable hour long drive. Slide by JJ’s Mercantile for premade snacks and beverages along with a front porch view of Parriott Mesa.

Grandstaff Trail is a four mile out and back canyon trail that, again, crosses a stream of water multiple times on its way to Echo Canyon and the Morning Glory Bridge, a large natural arch formation. This trail is rated as easy and we did see multiple families enjoying this sandy trail.

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