Pedestal Alley: The Perfect Afternoon Hike Near Bullfrog, Utah

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It was a coolish morning, as coolish as the desert can be in May, and I was off to explore Pedestal Alley on Burr Trail.  There is parking on the left side of the road across from the trailhead, which is marked with a sign, on the right.  

The trail basically follows a wash and is also marked with cairns, which are more helpful once you’re on the open rock.  The trail follows the wash most of the time, but occasionally it goes up onto the sand through the plants.  If you want, you can just follow the wash instead of the cairns.

It takes maybe 20 minutes to get out of the wash, so a couple of hours is good for this to allow for more wandering and exploring.  Pedestal alley was one of the first hikes near Bullfrog that I did and it was a good introduction to the desert scenery that I would now call home.  

It was pretty windy the day I was there so it was kind of hard to see on my way out with sand being blown all over and into my eyes.  It would be better pretty much anytime after mid-May.


I wasn’t able to follow the whole trail because, you guessed it, work.  It was a nice way to spend the morning and it’s a fairly easy walk.  Its wide open, but has the towering walls around you at the same time.  It’s pretty cool, but there are other places I like much more.  It’s definitely worth a visit if you have the time and are in the area, though.

What to bring to Pedestal Alley

NatGeo National Parks Book – This is one of the best national park guidebooks and I take it on all my park trips.  This is great for all the parks in the area.  Plus, it’s got the nice glossy pages.  Buy the book here.

Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side.  They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.  These aren’t necessary unless you already usually use them.

Snacks – These are more important for long hikes, but you never know when you’ll get hungry!  I like EPIC bars (kind of like beef jerky but different), Sahale nut mix things, and Moon Cheese.  There’s always the good old Clif Bars and trail mix, too.


Water bottle – It’ll be hot and humid and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must, especially with the strong desert sun.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Light Jacket – Because you just never know.  Weather can change quickly depending on where you are and if you’ll be in any slot canyons, they can get cool depending on the time of day and season.  It’s good to have in spring, fall, and winter.  I usually use my rain jacket for this.


Where is Pedestal Alley?

Pedestal Alley is about ten miles (maybe a little less) from Bullfrog. It’s a nice hike to do on a weekend trip to Lake Powell.  To get there from Bullfrog, head out on Highway 276 and turn left onto Burr Trail.  Follow that for a few miles and you’ll see a small brown sign on the right for Pedestal Alley Trailhead.

There is a parking area on the left side of the road by the giant rock formation.  Park there and walk over to the trail.  If you get to the wash you have to cross, you’ve gone too far.  It’s just before that.

How long is the Pedestal Alley trail?

The hike is three miles round-trip and is best done in the fall and spring.  There is no shade on the trail so it can get very hot.  I think it would be miserable to do in peak summer months. 

If you do this in the spring, I would definitely bring sunglasses because apart from the sun, it can get windy and they can help keep sand out of your eyes.

Have you been along Burr Trail?  Did you go to Pedestal Alley?  What do you think of it?

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