Cedar Mesa Grand Gulch

Todie Canyon on Cedar Mesa

Todie Canyon ( also called Toadie Canyon) is an east-side tributary to Grand Gulch that provides a lesser-used access into Grand Gulch. The canyon is quite short, only about 1 3/4 miles in length. The trail down Todie Canyon into Grand Gulch is a pretty tough hike and this is not a popular route into Grand Gulch. However, it’s a great place to hike along the rims of both Todie Canyon and Grand Gulch.

Todie Canyon Trailhead

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some links on this site are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

The Todie Canyon trailhead is reached by following the dirt road that runs west from UT 261 at about mile marker 25.5. The narrow dirt road (county road 2361) is generally suitable for most vehicles and ends in a small parking lot/camping area. From here you will easily find the trail heading west that leads down into Todie Canyon. It’s about 2 miles to Grand Gulch where there are ruins and rock art.

The hiker-made trail mostly heads through the canyon bottom but it can be tough hiking. This trail is for advanced hikers only. It’s not suited for beginners or even intermediates. There are areas of exposed rock and steep scrambles. However, for experienced canyon hikers, it offers scenery and solitude.

Note: This is not a hike for beginners. There is no developed trail and you will have to scramble up and down steep cliffsides. There is no trail so route finding is up to you. Maps and guidebooks can be very helpful. The information provided on this site is only to supplement your decision to hike in Todie Canyon.

Rim Walking Todie Canyon

While hiking down Todie Canyon is not for casual hikers, walking the rim of Todie Canyon is a real treat. For a couple of miles you’ll follow as it transforms from a little gully to a magnificent canyon. The hiking is level and you can go as far as you like before turning around.

line of ruins along cliff in Todie Canyon
The north walls of Todie Canyon have narrow ledges which hold the remains of a few structures.

From the parking area follow the trail but stay up on the mesa top as the canyon begins to form.  It’s best to stay on the left (south) side of the canyon. This is best because you’ll be looking north across the canyon at cliffs that are facing the south. South-facing cliffs are typically shady in the summer and sunny in the winter. Consequently, they usually hold ruins.

Sure enough, on a long ledge not far below Todie Canyon’s north rim, there is a line of small structures. These ruins appeared to be completely isolated, perched on a skinny ledge that seems to vanish at each end of the row of structures.  It really doesn’t look like there is any way to access these buildings. The use of climbing ropes and aids is forbidden and I doubt anyone could climb down to them without.

Confluence of Todie Canyon and Grand Gulch
The junction of Todie Canyon and Grand Gulch from the south rim of Todie. This photo was taken after rain storms and you can see the reddish muddy water in Grand Gulch.

Grand Gulch Junction

It’s not far to Todie’s junction with Grand Gulch which is quite a sight as the large Todie joining the even larger Grand Gulch. It’s a spectacular view that’s a great reward for hikers. From here you can continue to rim walk along Grand Gulch or you can retrace your trail back to the parking lot. It’s only about a mile and a half from the parking area to the rim overlooking the confluence so you don’t need a lot of time to do the rim hike.

Looking into Grand Gulch from the rim