Little Hole Trail In Utah

Here is everything you need to know about the Little Hole Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Utah
  • Length: 7.3 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Ashley National Forest
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Little Hole Trail, located in northeastern Utah, holds a significant historical background that dates back centuries. This trail follows the Green River and was once an essential route for Native American tribes, explorers, and fur trappers. The area surrounding the trail was inhabited by the Ute and Shoshone tribes, who utilized the river for transportation, trade, and sustenance.

During the early 19th century, European explorers and fur trappers began to venture into the region. The Little Hole Trail became a crucial path for these individuals as they sought to establish trade routes and exploit the abundant beaver population in the area. Trappers such as Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith were among the first to traverse this trail, leaving their mark on the history of the region.

In the mid-1800s, the Little Hole Trail gained further significance during the westward expansion and the California Gold Rush. Thousands of pioneers and gold seekers utilized this trail as they journeyed westward in search of new opportunities. The trail provided access to the fertile lands of the Great Basin and served as a vital link between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast.

Over time, the Little Hole Trail witnessed the construction of various infrastructure developments, including bridges and roads, to facilitate transportation and trade. Today, the trail stands as a testament to the rich history of the region, offering visitors a glimpse into the past and the significant role it played in the exploration and settlement of the American West.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Little Hole Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Little Hole Trail. It is located near the Flaming Gorge Dam in northeastern Utah.

2. Red Canyon Trailhead: This trailhead is located about 5 miles downstream from the Little Hole Trailhead. It provides access to the lower section of the Little Hole Trail.

3. Browns Park Trailhead: Located about 10 miles downstream from the Little Hole Trailhead, this access point allows hikers to start their journey from the scenic Browns Park area.

4. Swinging Bridge Trailhead: Situated approximately 15 miles downstream from the Little Hole Trailhead, this access point offers a unique experience of crossing a swinging bridge before starting the hike.

5. Gates of Lodore Trailhead: Located about 25 miles downstream from the Little Hole Trailhead, this access point is popular among rafters and provides access to the Gates of Lodore section of the Green River.

6. Split Mountain Trailhead: Situated approximately 35 miles downstream from the Little Hole Trailhead, this access point is another popular starting point for rafters and hikers exploring the Split Mountain section of the Green River.

7. Echo Park Trailhead: Located about 50 miles downstream from the Little Hole Trailhead, this access point provides access to the stunning Echo Park area and is a starting point for longer backpacking trips along the Green River.

Transportation Available

1. Little Hole Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from the Little Hole Trail.
2. Green River Shuttle – Shuttle service offering transportation options for hikers and visitors near the Little Hole Trail.
3. Flaming Gorge Shuttle – Shuttle service providing convenient transportation services for those exploring the Little Hole Trail and surrounding areas.
4. Red Canyon Lodge Shuttle – Shuttle service offering transportation options for visitors near the Little Hole Trail and Red Canyon Lodge.
5. Vernal Regional Airport – Nearby airport providing air transportation options for travelers visiting the Little Hole Trail.


The amenities available at the Little Hole Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities that you might find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could be permanent structures or portable toilets.

2. Parking: There should be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while using the trail. These parking lots may have specific hours of operation or fees associated with them.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and management, there might be designated camping sites along the Little Hole Trail. These sites could have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water sources.

4. Picnic Areas: Some sections of the trail may have designated picnic areas where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas might have picnic tables, benches, or shelters.

5. Fishing Access: Little Hole Trail is known for its fishing opportunities, so there may be designated fishing access points along the trail. These areas could have fishing platforms, piers, or easy access to the water.

6. Interpretive Signs: To enhance the visitor experience, there might be interpretive signs along the trail that provide information about the local flora, fauna, history, or geology.

7. Trail Markers: The trail should have markers or signs indicating the route and distance covered. These markers help visitors navigate the trail and stay on the designated path.

8. Information Kiosks: At the trailhead or other strategic locations, there may be information kiosks providing maps, brochures, safety guidelines, and other relevant information about the trail.

It’s important to note that the availability and condition of these amenities can change over time, so it’s recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information before visiting the Little Hole Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Little Hole Lodge – Cozy lodging with scenic views near the trailhead.
2. Flaming Gorge Resort – Full-service resort offering lodging, dining, and outdoor activities.
3. Red Canyon Lodge – Rustic cabins and a restaurant nestled in a picturesque canyon.
4. Dutch John Resort – Riverside lodging and dining options for outdoor enthusiasts.
5. Lucerne Valley Marina – Marina with a convenience store and snack bar for boaters and anglers.
6. Ashley National Forest – Nearby forest with camping and picnic areas.
7. Uintah County Sheriff’s Office – Local law enforcement agency providing emergency services.
8. Ashley Regional Medical Center – Hospital offering emergency medical care in Vernal, Utah.

Little Hole Trail Difficulty Notes

The Little Hole Trail is known for its moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail offers a well-maintained path with occasional steep sections and rocky terrain, providing a moderate challenge for those seeking a more adventurous hike. While it may require some effort, the trail rewards hikers with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including the Green River and stunning rock formations. With proper preparation and hiking gear, the Little Hole Trail offers an enjoyable and manageable experience for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the beauty of the area.

Features And Attractions

The Little Hole Trail is a scenic hiking trail located in the Ashley National Forest in Utah. Along the trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Little Hole Trail:

1. Little Hole: The trail starts at the Little Hole Recreation Area, which is a popular spot for fishing and camping. It offers beautiful views of the Green River.

2. Flaming Gorge Reservoir: As you hike along the trail, you’ll come across the stunning Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This reservoir is known for its deep blue waters and dramatic red cliffs.

3. Red Canyon Overlook: This viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Red Canyon and the surrounding area. It’s a great spot to take in the beauty of the landscape.

4. Swallow Canyon: As you continue hiking, you’ll pass through Swallow Canyon, which is known for its towering cliffs and unique rock formations. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including birds and small mammals.

5. Sheep Creek Geological Loop: This loop is a short detour from the main trail but is worth the visit. It showcases fascinating geological formations, including the “Sheep Creek Thrust Fault.”

6. Indian Rock Art: Along the trail, you may come across ancient rock art created by Native American tribes. These petroglyphs offer a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

7. Little Hole Narrows: Towards the end of the trail, you’ll reach the Little Hole Narrows, a narrow section of the Green River. The towering cliffs and crystal-clear water make for a picturesque sight.

8. Wildlife Spotting: The Little Hole Trail is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, eagles, and more. Keep your eyes peeled for these animals as you hike.

These are just a few of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can encounter along the Little Hole Trail. Remember to check local regulations and trail conditions before embarking on your hike.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Little Hole Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Please clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. Camping is allowed only in designated areas along the trail.
4. Open fires are prohibited. Use designated fire pits or stoves for cooking.
5. Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons or adverse weather conditions.
6. Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
7. Bicycles are allowed on the trail but must yield to hikers and horses.
8. Horses are allowed on the trail but riders must clean up after their animals.
9. Do not disturb or harm wildlife or vegetation along the trail.
10. Pack out all trash and leave no trace of your visit.
11. Follow all posted signs and regulations for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Seasonal Information

The Little Hole Trail, located in the Ashley National Forest in northeastern Utah, offers a picturesque and serene hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit this trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers, and the weather is generally mild and pleasant. The fall season brings stunning foliage colors, creating a breathtaking backdrop for hikers. During these times, the temperatures are comfortable, and the trail is less crowded, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area.

It is important to note that the Little Hole Trail has seasonal closures due to weather conditions and wildlife management. The trail is typically closed during the winter months, from December to March, as heavy snowfall makes it inaccessible and potentially dangerous. Additionally, there may be temporary closures during the spring and early summer to protect nesting birds and other wildlife. It is advisable to check with the Ashley National Forest or local authorities for up-to-date information on trail closures before planning a visit.

Despite the seasonal closures, the Little Hole Trail offers a variety of recreational activities throughout the year. In addition to hiking, visitors can enjoy fishing in the Green River, which runs alongside the trail. The river is renowned for its excellent trout fishing, attracting anglers from far and wide. Canoeing and kayaking are also popular activities on the river, providing a unique perspective of the surrounding canyon walls and wildlife. Whether you are seeking a peaceful hike, a fishing adventure, or a scenic paddle, the Little Hole Trail offers something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination in northeastern Utah.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Little Hole Trail offers a wheelchair-accessible path with a smooth surface and gentle slopes, ensuring easy navigation for individuals with mobility challenges.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead, providing convenient access for visitors with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space for wheelchair maneuverability are located at the trailhead, ensuring comfort and convenience for all visitors.
4. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage along the trail includes Braille and tactile elements, allowing individuals with visual impairments to navigate the trail independently.
5. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome on the Little Hole Trail, providing support and companionship to individuals with disabilities.
6. Benches and Rest Areas: Strategically placed benches and rest areas along the trail offer opportunities for individuals with mobility limitations to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
7. Audio Guides: Audio guides are available for individuals with visual impairments, providing descriptive information about the trail’s features and points of interest.
8. Handrails and Guardrails: Handrails and guardrails are installed at certain sections of the trail, ensuring stability and safety for individuals with balance or mobility challenges.
9. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas near the trailhead are designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, featuring accessible tables and seating options.
10. Accessible Fishing Platforms: Wheelchair-accessible fishing platforms are available along the trail, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy fishing activities with ease.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: Little Hole Trail is a moderately difficult trail suitable for hikers with some experience and fitness level.
2. Weather Conditions: Be aware of changing weather conditions as the trail can become slippery and dangerous during rain or snow.
3. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 6.5 miles long, so plan accordingly and bring enough water and snacks.
4. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost or straying off the designated path.
5. Wildlife Encounter: Be cautious of encountering wildlife such as snakes, bears, or mountain lions; maintain a safe distance and do not approach them.
6. River Crossings: The trail includes several river crossings, so be prepared for wet feet and use caution when crossing to avoid slipping on rocks.
7. Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, as parts of the trail may lack shade.
8. Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction to navigate the sometimes rocky and uneven terrain.
9. First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic, and pain relievers in case of minor injuries.
10. Emergency Contact: Inform someone about your hiking plans and estimated return time, or consider hiking with a companion for added safety.
11. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, respecting wildlife and vegetation, and staying on the designated trail.
12. Cell Phone Reception: Be aware that cell phone reception may be limited or nonexistent along the trail, so plan accordingly for emergencies.
13. Hiking Permits: Check if any permits or fees are required before embarking on the Little Hole Trail, and ensure you have them if necessary.
14. Trail Conditions: Check for recent trail condition updates or closures before starting your hike to avoid any unexpected obstacles or hazards.
15. Personal Fitness: Assess your own fitness level and abilities before attempting the trail, and be prepared for a moderate physical challenge.

Conservation Notes

The Little Hole Trail, located in the Ashley National Forest in Utah, holds a conservation status of utmost importance. This trail is recognized as a critical habitat for various plant and animal species, contributing to its designation as a protected area. The conservation efforts aim to preserve the unique biodiversity found along the trail and maintain the ecological balance of the surrounding ecosystem.

The trail traverses through diverse landscapes, including riparian areas, wetlands, and upland forests, providing a range of habitats for numerous species. These habitats support a variety of plant life, such as willows, cottonwoods, and various wildflowers. The conservation status of the Little Hole Trail ensures the protection of these plant species, as they play a crucial role in stabilizing the soil, preventing erosion, and providing food and shelter for wildlife.

In terms of wildlife conservation, the Little Hole Trail is home to several species of concern. The area provides important nesting and foraging grounds for various bird species, including the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and the sensitive yellow-billed cuckoo. Additionally, the trail supports populations of mule deer, elk, and other mammals, which rely on the area for food, water, and shelter. The conservation status of the Little Hole Trail ensures that these species are protected from disturbances and habitat degradation, allowing them to thrive in their natural environment.

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