|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Every spring, thousands of hikers and 4WD campers head into the Maze, drawn by Ed Abbey’s paeans to its remoteness and beauty. But most ignore the spectacular Fins country in the district’s southern end, with its imposing towers of banded sandstone. This 30.7-mile tour connects three lightly visited slickrock canyons in that area via sketchy trail, easy scrambles, and a fast return trek on a dirt road. Several reliable water sources make extended stays feasible, and you can tailor your challenge level by wandering to the many isolated ledges and spur canyons. The only hitch? You’ll need a 4WD vehicle to reach the Golden Stairs trailhead.
Your hike starts spectacularly as you cross the narrow stone ramp of China Neck, with dizzying views off either elbow, then wind 2 miles down the rugged Golden Stairs Trail to the Standing Rock jeep road. A short road mile leads to an unmarked parking area beneath twin redrock pinnacles known as Mother and Child. From here, a faint trail threads down into
Mapped by Steve Howe