The Barracks Trail

Orderville, Utah (Kane County)

Last Updated: 05/24/2018
4.7 /5 ( 3 reviews )
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 23.3 miles
Highest Elevation: 6612 feet
Duration: About 5 hours 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Orderville
Nearest Town w/ Services: Orderville
Official Road Name:
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Kanab Field Office
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Highlight: The Barracks Trail

Southern Utah holds some of the most iconic scenery in the entire state. The red cliffs spotted with deep green juniper trees seem to just roll on forever. Just outside of Zion National Park lies this gem of an offroad trail that gives you incredible viewpoints of such scenery. As you begin this trail, you wind your way through the canyon carved by the East Fork of the Virgin River, crossing it nearly half a dozen times. Many people believe that this is the highlight of the trail. While it is fun, this is only the beginning. After you ascend from the canyon onto the plateau above, you really get to see the sights that The Barracks Trail has to offer. Changing scenery is accompanied by different vantage points to view the southern valley that borders the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, while to the northwest you can get a glimpse of Zion. This 4wd road is not for the faint of heart through, as you have to climb steep sandy hills to complete this 23-mile-long trek. Luckily, this trail is easily accessible off of Highway 89 from both ends and can be enjoyed by all; even if you decide to avoid the hill and turn back the way you came in. If you are passing through on your way to Kanab or just looking for a new trail to explore, make sure this one is on your list!



7 day forecast for The Barracks Trail

Route Information

Technical Rating:

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1. Trailhead (0.00 mi)

The trailhead begins just off of Highway 89 south of Mount Carmel Junction. On the east side of Highway 89, there is a large parking area if you need room to park a trailer. The trail begins on the west side.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 37.215825, -112.684620

Starting Point: Mount Caramel Junction

Head south on Highway 89 for one half of a mile. The trailhead will be on your right (west) just before the big hill.



Trail Reviews (6)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
It seems the road condition has been drastically changed since the last log report. Almost two thirds of the trail is covered with deep soft sand. I did the trail in reverse for which I might be able to do finish the trail. At three different spots with steep hill and deep sand, my jeep was sliding all the way down the slope with brake fully locked. And at no. 21 the road was completely eroded with sharp and narrow camber and it is not passable for any vehicle except ATV and side-by-side. I saw a Cherokee was banging the ledge really hard while coming down. If anyone attempts to do it, go in opposite direction or would not make it.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Super fun and sometimes a little sketchy trail. We took the trail backwards so we could go down the sand mountain instead of up. We got stuck only a few times until we put rig into 4low. We were driving a slightly lifted Mercedes ML329 and it seems to go perfectly.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Did this trail in reverse with stock Toyota Tundra. Had a great time. Gorgeous and fun but Tundra is a bit too long for several of the spot and will have to replace my trailer electrical plugs that got mashed into the ground in the back. Wouldn't recommend for this reason if you are that long. Tires were aired down to 28. Would have loved to go lower but am new to this and wasn't sure how low I could go. Going down the steep sandy hill (21) was fine. Tried going up it just to see if we could--and we couldn't. Lots of ATV traffic on trail with some coming around corners at you pretty fast. Was deer hunt this weekend so maybe that is not typical. Somehow we lucked out and snagged the second overlook camping spot (35). Stayed there overnight and it was great. Dark sky. Great view of the milky way. The later river crossings (which we hit first) were a bit challenging--at least for the direction we were going--with steep exits. For river crossing 22 (point 23) there is a side trail that goes around the steep exit (for us) or entry if you go in the direction specified. Glad we took that. We put down a board to help us exit river crossing 19 (point 20) --that worked though it broke the board. At point 30 we took 28A (as recommended). Trail was too narrow and added some new pin stripes. We could have easily taken 28 instead and I think that would have been better.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Started from Mt. Carmel end. Could not climb the larger sandy hill, to loose and deep. Ford Ranger 4x4 with rear locker, 32 inch tires aired way down, got stopped just before trying to turn right for the firmer section. Did not want to tear it up any more than it is, or get completely stuck, so backed down. Better rigs could still make it I imagine.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Two of us left the Winter 4X4 Jamboree in nearby Hurricane, Utah and ventured over to this amazing trail. From the waypoints shown on this trail, we completed this trip in reverse. We were greeted with water crossings, mountains, cows, water crossings, private ranches, amazing scenery, and more water crossings. The water was pretty shallow throughout the day with the deepest crossing at about axle deep (about 16").

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This is absolutely one of my favorite trails I have done recently. There were two vehicles on an overnight trip. The first part of the trail with all of the creek crossings was really cool. I wish there had been a bit more water, but there was still enough to splash around in. The sand hill was extremely intimidating. With the other driver being a little less experienced, we decided that I would drive her jeep up the hill. She had bald street tires aired down to about 10 psi and no lockers. Oddly enough, I gave it some momentum and kept it steady all the way up the easy part of the hill. After I ran back down, I took a shot in my jeep on new mud terrains aired down to 14 psi and locked front and rear. I managed to get stopped on the turn. Luckily, my tires were able to keep grabbing and with a lot of RPM’s I slowly made my way to the solid track to the right of the hill and up the final bit. This is the quick lesson that airing down significantly increases your chances in sandy situations. After the sand hill, there are a few rocky patches and even another smaller sand hill, yet no match for the big one. After all of this excitement, the scenery just gets better. We camped out at the south valley overlook. Weather was nice and cool with a small breeze, just perfect all night long. The remaining bit of the trail was simple and quick. We stopped and had lunch at Sammie's Chuck Wagon in Orderville. Highly recommend if you are passing through.

Questions & Answers (6)

Q: What is the best source for inquiring about the flow and volume of the east Fork of the Virgin River along this route. I want to run this trail the first weekend of April if the water levels aren't to high and fast.
–Peter Adams (04/01/2019)
–TJ Bosworth (04/04/2019)
–Peter Adams (04/02/2019)
–Peter Adams (04/02/2019)
–TJ Bosworth (04/01/2019)
–David (04/01/2019)
Q: Regarding the Barracks Trail near Mount Carmel Junction, Utah, is your estimate of over 5hrs a Round Trip estimate?
–Peter Adams (04/01/2019)
–TJ Bosworth (04/01/2019)
Q: We will be attempting this trail alone so it is best if we start at County Road 43. Do you have the GPS coordinates for the trail head from 43?
–Celia Storm (01/03/2019)
–TJ Bosworth (01/03/2019)
Q: Thank you Mr. Bosworth I really enjoy the outdoors and seeing everyone's adventures!
–tyrone tillman (05/24/2018)
–TJ Bosworth (05/26/2018)
Q: I'm running this trip in 2/weeks. I have the gpx but haven't ever done this. Our vehicles are more than capable for this trail. Would it be better to start the trail from hwy 43 side or start the trail from hwy 89 side just outside of town of Mt. carmel?
–tyrone tillman (05/18/2018)
–TJ Bosworth (05/18/2018)
Q: I'm planning to take my 4th Gen Ram Power Wagon on 37s, besides some pin striping, any reason it wouldn't fit?
–EasyDoesIt18 (03/26/2018)
–TJ Bosworth (03/31/2018)
–Sierra Santage (03/31/2018)

Writer Information

TJ Bosworth

Mapping Crew - Utah

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, he's only been off-roading since he was 16 but fell in love immediately. He attended college in Denver for Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management and wheeled in Colorado for 4 years, but ended up moving back home to Salt Lake City. He currently works in an off-road shop and spends his free time doing anything he can to stay busy, which is usually working on his jeep or playing music. Outside of off-roading, he is an avid whitewater rafter and outdoor cook. Camping at least every other weekend in any season is a normal year. The further from civilization, the better. Bring on the memories!
For individual use only, not to be shared.