Hiking Southern Utah: Enepitsi Trail (aka the Ghost Trail)Hiking Southern Utah: Enepitsi Trail (aka the Ghost Trail)

Trail: Enepitsi Trail (aka the Ghost Trail)

Location: Santa Clara River Reserve

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: three miles

Average time: two hours

Total elevation gain: 100 feet

Access: The trail is reached by turning left onto a gravel road on the south side of Santa Clara Drive a half mile west of the Jacob Hamblin Home in Santa Clara and parking at the Tukupetsi trailhead. Hikers must take several other trails first: Fishhook, Upper Graveyard, Een’oog, then U’waiv at last. From the trailhead take the Fishhook Trail north for about a quarter mile until you reach the Upper Graveyard Trail. Turn left and follow Upper Graveyard for a quarter mile until the Tempi’op’op Trail (two-track) for 0.22 miles. Cross the two-track and take the Een’oog Trail heading south for an additional 0.22 miles. The Een’oog Trail ends where it intersects with the Enepitsi Trail. Turn right, going downhill. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which manages federal lands, advises hikers not to venture beyond the two-track of the Enepitsi Trail, an old pioneer road, because it is on private property.

Hiking Southern Utah: Enepitsi Trail (aka the Ghost Trail)A gate near the trailhead advises hikers to close it during grazing season. The trail climbs a small, rocky hill covered with creosote bushes and other plants and then descends on a dirt road. The lush growth along the Santa Clara River comes into view.

The trail passes a second gate.  A small dam below channels the river through a narrow chute for a short distance.

A rise to the right of the trail and through brush offers a close look at petroglyphs of bighorn sheep and inanimate objects on the rocks.

The trail passes through a narrow river canyon. The stark cliffs on the right contrast with the oasis of the slow-flowing river perhaps 50 feet below the trail.  A side trail to the left leads to the river.

Hiking Southern Utah: Enepitsi Trail (aka the Ghost Trail)Back on the main trail, hikers can marvel at the black basalt boulders up against the cliff to the west.

The Enepitsi trail is level for the most part, which explains why the BLM rates it “easy/easiest” and recommends it for equestrians, hikers, and mountain bikers.

However hiking anywhere alone presents potential risks, such as getting lost, injuries, and encounters with wild animals and poisonous snakes. Outdoors enthusiasts recommend carrying plenty of water, wearing sturdy shoes and hats, applying sunscreen, and bringing a cellphone.

If you do not want to hike alone, there are several hiking groups in southern Utah, including Totally Just for Fun group (singles 40s and older) or other area Meetup.com groups that are open to singles or married couples, such as the St. George trail hiking group or the Red Rock Hiking Group.

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