Deep in the Secluded Bryce Canyon Backcountry with No Crowds – Ride The Panguitch Loop ATV Trail-
The Most Spectacular ATV Route in North America
35-40 miles, 3 Canyons, Optional Spur Trail to Peterson Point 4-6 Hour Ride
The 7 Mile descent down Casto Canyon is for vehicles 50″ wide or less. This Route tours three Spectacular Canyons. Lime Kiln, Upper Hancock and Casto Canyons, with the optional spur trail to Peterson Point. This route departs from American ATV Rentals at 467 N Main St Panguitch Utah 84759. Your guide will lead you through Town the 1 mile to the River Lane Trailhead on the NE corner of Panguitch
Maps and Navigation Orientation takes place at the River Lane Trail Head, located next to our Hospital, Garfield Regional Medical Center.
When your Maps Orientation is complete, and you are clear and comfortable with your Route Navigation, your 4 Hour or 5-8 Hour Rental timer starts.
You will follow BLM 2350 for 3 Miles East past Panguitch Airport to the entrance of the other worldly volcanic Lime Kiln Canyon where you’ll explore it’s unique blue, green & ash grey Hoodoo’s.
You’ll ascend the Sevier Plateau via Lime Kiln Canyon 10 miles North of the Sunset Cliffs, starting at 6665’ feet in the valley. This Canyon lies below the Mile Wide ancient volcanic caldera of 9990’ Hancock Peaks. This Volcano Towers above you during your entire ascent to the intersection at the top of the canyon. You’ll find Claron Red Rock part way up. Note it’s mixed with other layers and colors here. You’ll reach 8500’ at the top of this canyon about 15 miles (approximately 1 hour) into your ride.
At the top of Lime Kiln you’ll encounter a very clearly marked intersection, where you will turn Right / South to begin the ride through Upper Hancock Canyon. The spectacular lithified (turned to stone) towers of volcanic ash and magma display a rainbow of colors against numerous backgrounds of greys, browns and ghostly white soils. Many Volcanic rocks abound in this 5 mile section, along with incredible multi-colorful stratigraphic layers. You’ll find many smaller rocks across your trail at times. Others you’ll see are enormous cliffs of solidified ancient pyroclastic, lava and mud flows towering above you to heights of almost 10,000’
The rare Geology of these first two Canyons is very unique. It occurs only in The North Bryce Canyon Backcountry and cannot be experienced in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Upper Hancock Canyon ends at a “T” Intersection atop a high ridge; look North here and observe fantastic colorful layers, huge volcanic peaks, and the volcanic canyons you’ve just come through. Here you Turn West (right) on spur trail 697, following the large Brown sign towards Casto Canyon.
¼ Mile later you’ll come to a Fork in the Trail. Peterson Point is to the Right (continuing West). Barney Cove and Casto Canyon trail is the South fork to the left, where the 50” Width Restriction Begins.
50” Wide or Less Vehicles descend the Paunsaugunt Plateau via Barney Cove through Casto Canyon. This rugged, beautiful and majestic series of Claron Formation Red Rock Hoodoo’s Arches, Bridges and Windows get you up close and personal with the geology of Bryce Canyon. The enormous natural Red Amphitheaters further down Casto Canyon are simply awe-inspiring and leave most folks speechless. People come from all over the world to experience this secluded and one of a kind backcountry Canyon. There are few travelers this far out. In Casto Canyon may see a few folks or you may have it to yourself.
The Exit of Casto Canyon is at the base of the Sunset Cliffs. Take the Dirt road to your Right to head back to Panguitch if you are on a 4-hour ride. Continue Exploring if you are a 5-8 hour rental.