Hey Joe Canyon
Hey Joe Canyon, a site of some mining ruins, is a short tributary to Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River. To get into the canyon, one must travel about 20 miles of pavement and 10 miles of good dirt road to the rim of Spring Canyon, where a spectacular ledge road winds down a 600-foot cliff to the canyon bottom. The trail follows the canyon about 2 miles to the Green River. It then turns upstream about 9 miles along the river to reach Hey Joe Canyon. The trail along the river is subject to rockfalls from above and collapse from below. This causes the Club to expect maintenance trips in the early spring to repair fallen sections and prune Tamarisk growth along the Green. Moderate to heavy brush contact should be expected. Approximate mileages: 85 total, 45 off highway.
The access roads include the paved one in Sevenmile Canyon and good dirt roads in the open plateau country and into Spring Canyon to the Green River. Spring Canyon is a jewel. The trail enters Labyrinth Canyon at Bowknot Bend, a large loop of the river where the river doubles back and threatens to short-cut the loop in the near future, geologically speaking. There are abandoned mining roads on both sides of the river; remains of the cable that ferried equipment across the river may be seen.
The road into Spring Canyon once carried ore trucks and heavy equipment but it is still subject to erosion from storms. It is now being maintained as part of the Grand County road system. Recent storms and maintenance priorities usually determine the challenges this trip presents.The roads in Spring Canyon and Labyrinth Canyon are good dirt except where erosion has narrowed them or left rockfalls that required hand labor to make them at least passable.
There are no fixed obstacles on this route; the hard places move around as erosion continues. Some of the older rock falls have been crossed so much they are getting easy, but who knows what this year will bring.
Wet weather would require substitution of this trip with one of equal rating; the trail is scary when dry and terrifying when wet.