Hayduke: Post Cutoff Alternate

Post Cutoff Route

Post Cutoff Route

- part of the Hayduke Reference -

– part of the Hayduke Reference –

This fairly short alternate serves as a bit of a short-cut and arguably a more-exciting and scenic route.

For those traveling westbound on the Hayduke, after crossing the Henrys and hiking out of Swap Canyon to finish Section 5, you’ll end up on the road near the 3-way junction of the Burr Trail and Notom Road. Here the official Hayduke follows the Burr Trail up the gravel switchbacks. It then leaves the road and travels down the northernmost part of Lower Muley Twist Canyon. This alternate instead follows the road southeast before connecting with the Post Cutoff Trail which turns west and climbs up and over the Waterpocket Fold and then drops into the canyon to re-connect with Lower Muley Twist and The Hayduke Trail.

The 5-mile alternate is about 1.25 miles shorter than the Hayduke to get to the same spot. One would miss the upper-most shallow narrows in LMT by opting for this alternate, but in return one gains a really cool climb up the slickrock with incredible views along the way and a small arch near the top. The alternate involves about .75 mile more road walking, but it’s a scenic stroll down the valley along a not-too-heavily traveled road. One will pass Headquarters and Surprise Canyons along the way — both of which make for worthy diversions. For the truly road-adverse, it’s possible to walk down the Halls Creek wash for this entire stretch.

The Post is officially an old “tie up” area along the Burr Trail. At that spot there is a short spur road which leads south to a corral and TH parking area complete with a pit toilet (no trash or water though.) From here the Post Cutoff Route heads west and over the reef. Note: if really in need of making up time, it’s possible to hike south along the Halls Creek trail and reconnect with the Hayduke where it exits Lower Muley Twist (though it would be a shame to skip a really cool canyon — read more about it.)