Phil Wilkes at Short Creek crossing
Off the Beaten Path. A neighboring finger canyon to more popular Water Canyon, Squirrel Canyon provides another gorgeous, remote hike to find yourself alone in. The numerous mature cottonwood trees along Short Creek and up into Squirrel are particularly enjoyable, while the orange-red sandstone canyon walls entertain and awe with their beautiful patterns and hoodoo towers.
Because Squirrel Canyon begins with a couple miles of sandy double track which I don't like hiking twice, I like to hike Squirrel as the first half of a longer loop hike going UP Squirrel and DOWN Water Canyon. The loop is a really nice way to see more varied landscape, with some excellent slickrock treats in the higher reaches of the hike. If you choose to connect the two canyons, however, be sure to have a map along and know how to use it; the trails of Squirrel and Water Canyons are clear enough, but the terrain between them is not well marked or well travelled.
As the majority of the hike is exposed to the sun, this is NOT a summer hike, but a great one for Spring and Fall. There is no water between Short Creek and the spring in Water Canyon, so pack a minimum of 2 liters between the two water sources.