The Barracks Trail

5/5 (16 reviews)
Orderville, Utah (Kane County)
Last Updated: 09/05/2020
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Trail Information

Highlights

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!

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

5/5 (16 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/13/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Kick ass trail and needed all our skills in heavy laden Rubicon's with 2.5/3.0 lifts. To avoid the UP Sandhill that many say is impassable during summer, we traveled this trail South to North. However, to be clear even South to North has a number of sandy hills. Much of the trail has narrow , curvy tracks and deep sand. We aired way down and speed is your friend to keep from sinking. Incredible scenery as you wind your way thru a number of small canyons and up and down hills. We are experienced off-roaders and used every skill needed to navigate. One Rubicon had a roof tent and clearing branches added extra challenge. #26 going up was awesome, 21 pitch and longer that it looks. Also not sure where on the trail it was but another shorter steep wall that if you land on the top rock -you can pause and then switch from low to high to continue on in a deep sand hill. Had a ball! And always enjoy a little water crossing!
Trail Review: The Barracks Trail - charles smith
Trail Review: The Barracks Trail - charles smith
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/13/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

What a great trail. Took it in my mostly stock FJ Cruiser. Because of the giant sand hill and some of the reviews I'd read, we drove it from the South to the North. This way, the giant hill is all downward. There's still plenty of challenge though and the views are incredible. The waypoints marked "Rocky" (25 and 26) are fairly steep and require a little bit of tire placing judgment. We got stock in the sand at the top of 25 but were able to dig out fairly easily. Everything else was pretty straightforward moderate sand driving. The water crossings (other than maybe the first 1 or 2 Northernmost) were basically dry and even though the trail gets pretty hard to follow at times, you can tell that many people skipped some of the crossings and simply drove up the creek bed. All in all, the views were fantastic and the trail was exciting. I will be making another visit in the future.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/14/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Very fun trail and super scenic!!! We did it south to north to keep it simple. Trail can be tight, bumpy and sandy but it is so worth it. Air down, have some good clearance and 4x4, but you won’t need lockers to do this trail. We did it in an ‘01 TJ on 33” tires with 3.5 inch lift and a JL Rubicon 3” lift and 35” tires. No problems.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/20/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Lots of water crossing all shallow. Beautiful rock formations on each side of trail. Tried twice to make it up the big hill with no success. Just not enough traction in dry sand.
Status: Open
Visited: 06/18/2021

I’ve run this trail many times both in my Jeep YJ and Ranger. During dry conditions like my most recent two runs the sand hill is extremely difficult if not impossible to climb, so I run the trail from the coral pink side. This way you are downhill for the sand hill. Even under the driest conditions going downhill on the sand hill presents only a minor problem. My last run in June had extremely low water conditions. In some spots the river had almost dried up. The deepest spots were maybe 6” deep. In the winter I’ve run this trail in snow, Ice and 18+ inches of water. During winter runs the sand holds a lot of moisture and is much easier to climb. There are a few rock area to climb but they are generally no problem for any 4x4 I’ve had out there with me. Finally, the scenery on this trail is just spectacular…I’m local to this trail and this is absolutely one of my favourites. One final point, you can access the barracks trail from elephant cove staging area to the south but that route in is typically much rougher condition than the route from the coral pink side.

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