In 2005, Mike Coronella and Joe Mitchell published their guidebook to the 800-mile Hayduke Trail — a new route from ‘Arches to Zion through the Grand Canyon’ as it said on the cover. The publication of this unofficial trail inspired me to finally take the plunge and do the extended “Big Hikes” in Utah that I’d always dreamed about.
Ten+ years later, my review of the route remains pretty much the same: I think the authors put together a great route balancing the “goodies” of the Colorado Plateau with access and environmental concerns. From the literal highs of the Henry Mountains to the lowest lows of the Grand Canyon, the route truly does a terrific job of showcasing many incredible sights of the region.
My only minor criticism of the published route is that IMHO I don’t believe the Grand Canyon should be paired with an extended route through Utah. The circuitous effort to and from the Canyon seems forced, and to me, the Canyon seems like a different mindset than southern Utah and in many ways deserves a trip of its own. That said, I understand the inclusion because for many hiking this route it is a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience and thus why not include the nearby natural wonder of the world!
What I love about the authors’ work though is their explicit desire to merely make the route a ‘suggestion’ and thus encourage variation and exploration. They hint at the many others wonders that are out there and how one ideally should take the time to absorb as much as possible along the way — as did they while they were dreaming up the route many years ago. Many in the Hayduke hiking community have also embraced this approach.
In that spirit, I’ve added a Hayduke Reference section to my site where users can learn more about the route and some of the many possible alternates and diversions. Over the years as the Hayduke has become more and more popular, I’ve received an increasing number of inquiries since many of my long-distance adventures overlap or are near to the published route. Now I hope finding that information on my site is even easier for aspiring Haydukers!
Feel free to check it out. My Hayduke Trail Reference:
BTW — look for this icon on select posts/hike guides to link back to the reference. It’s also possible to bookmark the Reference Page via: