Hiking the Hayduke: Welcome to the Wild, Wild (South)West

The idea of the Hayduke Trail (HDT) was conceived in 1998 and is in fact not a trail at all, but an 800-ish mile route. It was designed by two adventurers who wanted to showcase the rugged, unspoiled beauty of the American Southwest by exploring the many national parks on the Colorado Plateau in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, as well as the seldom seen but equally beautiful land that exists between them.

This route stitches together existing trails, jeep track, and the natural land formations. There are no blazes, no purist mentality, and for the most part no established path. The route’s namesake, George Hayduke III, is a fictional character in a novel by American author Edward Abbey who was a fierce advocate for, and lover of the Southwest, and the freedom inherent in true wilderness.

It is in this spirit that the trail often becomes a choose-your-own adventure, encouraging hikers to find and take alternates to make the experience their own. Currently, only about three dozen hikers per year hike the Hayduke, so potential hikers must be content with some serious alone time or recruit a hiking partner if they wish for company beyond the red rocks and stars.

The HDT is not intended for novices, but for those seeking an honest challenge in an alien landscape; where canyons and wind-worn slickrock serve as a playground, amid a backdrop of innumerable towering natural arches and spires, and a rim to rim traverse of the Grand Canyon is the icing on the cake.

Learn more here…


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