Traversing six national parks (Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Zion), a national recreation area, a national monument, and various wilderness, primitive, and wilderness study areas, the Hayduke Trail is a challenging, 800-mile backcountry route on the Colorado Plateau. Whimsically named for a character in Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, the trail begins in Arches National Park and ends in Zion National Park, stays entirely on public land, and traverses the complete variety of terrain available to hikers on the Plateau short of technical climbing.
Joe Mitchell and Mike Coronella pioneered Hayduke after concluding that a long trail—such as the Appalachian or Pacific Crest— was possible on the Plateau, thus introducing more people to these unique and threatened public lands. The Hayduke Trail includes detailed maps of the entire route, suggested cache points, and a wealth of description and tips for tackling this intense undertaking.
Hiking the entire route requires at least three months, though like other long trails it can be broken into smaller segments. The guide, featured in the March 2005 issue of National Geographic Adventure Magazine, is designed for experienced desert trekkers seeking a thorough-hiking experience on a well-tested route.
Joe Mitchell moved to Utah in the late 1980s. He lives with his wife in Heber City, Utah, where he is a fly-fishing guide with Four Season Outfitters.
Mike Coronella is the owner of Deep Desert Expeditions in Moab and an officer with Grand County Search and Rescue.