Hiking in Proctor Canyon
Our hike with Terry in Proctor Canyon was another instance of us deciding to explore an area we hadn’t hiked in before. Tom had initially suggested we explore one of the canyons to the east of Route 89 south of Red Canyon; after consulting our forest map we decided Proctor Canyon looked like the most reasonable route and would also offer us some choices in hiking trails.
We started our walk a mile below one of the access points for the 78-mile long Grandview backpacking trail but passed the trailhead in favor of beginning with the short Bluefly-Proctor Trail which the forest service described as “hiking through pink ledges” of the Claron Formation (think: the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon). We did indeed see the familiar pink/red sandstone as we turned north from Proctor Canyon onto the trail/old fire road but as we approached the cliffs the tree cover obscured the view – and then obscured the trail. We began exploring in multiple directions, climbing a few ridges as we explored around the bowl, but weren’t able to find the actual trail again. With the views we had however we were not disappointed.
After a couple hours wandering around we returned to the road and walked down Proctor Canyon a ways until we reached the junction with the Grandview Trail. We crossed the beautiful meadows at the mouth of the canyon and then immediately began a rather steep ascent through the ponderosas for another mile until we decided to venture off on a ridge in search of views down canyon. Try as we might we were unable to get an unobscured view – which led me to scramble up the loose liestone of the eroded cliffs. After I’d gone up a few hundred feet I figured I would just keep going until I reached the rim. The dog, and then Tom and Terry, decided to follow me and we eventually regrouped 600 feet up from where we’d started. No obstructions to the views here: we were able to see clear across the Cedar Mountains to the southwest, the Tushar Mountains to the northwest, and the Paunsaugunt Plateau to the east. Following our topping out at the rim we turned around, descending carefully down the red rock and then walking through the trees and meadows back down along the Grandview Trail.