Catstair Canyon: Hike To Stacked Cars Near Lake Powell

Catstair Canyon is a strange little hike. It’s a short hike to stacked cars by Lake Powell, right on the side of Highway 89. I drove over this so many times last year and had no idea this existed.

Wait, cars stacked under the highway? Yes. These were initially put here when the highway was being built to help support it. Weird, right?

catstair canyon utah
The trail is behind that little sign
catstair canyon utah
The trail is on the left, it’s pretty easy to spot

Well, it didn’t work that well but they left the cars behind and now you can hike down to see them yourself! This isn’t my favorite hike in the area, by far, but it is a fun stop near Page and Kanab.

I figured this would be a good one to do after the Nautilus and on our way to the Kanab dinosaur tracks while my parents were visiting. We set off mid-morning and I’m not sure if it was best for lighting, but I also don’t know what would be the best time.

catstair canyon utah
catstair canyon utah

I knew where the parking area was already so we pulled in and the trail is pretty obvious. It just heads down the hill from the parking area. There is a little geological marker, head past that. You’ll see the trail.

The trail goes through some grass with a big rock wall on the left and some open space on the right. You’re going around that rock on the left.

catstair canyon stacked cars lake powell
catstair canyon stacked cars lake powell

Once you get to the end of the rock, you can go down into the wash or stay on the little trail above it. Both get you to the same place. By the end of the wall you’ll be facing the highway.

From here, the trail will turn to the right. It will go down a little bit and this is where you’ll have to do some minor rock scrambling. It isn’t very hard and you’ll be able to see the cars on your left!

This isn’t a quiet hike because, well, you’re literally right by the highway, but it’s short and sweet. There are actually two stacks of cars here.

catstair canyon utah stacked cars in canyon
catstair canyon utah

I didn’t go past them at all, but if you want to do more exploring, you could. While it isn’t my favorite hike, it’s a fun one if you like weird roadside attraction type things or have a long drive through here and want to stretch your legs.

It’s no Cadillac Ranch, but it’s another weird car attraction you can add to your bucket list. I’m glad I finally got to see this because I always would have wondered and wanted to go.

catstair canyon utah stacked cars in canyon
cars in canyon catstair canyon utah

Where is the Catstair Canyon trailhead?

There are two but I’m talking about the one closer to Kanab than Page. They’re just a couple of miles apart but this one is closer to the highlight of the trail: the stacked cars.

Here is a link to the parking area we left from since it’s not the easiest to explain. If you’re coming from Page the parking area will be on the left. Its just before the highway goes through the rock with it on both sides. This makes more sense as you get closer to it.

From Kanab, the parking will be on your right just after you pass House Rock Valley Road and go through the rock. There are actually two little parking areas and both will get you there, but this is for the second one (from Kanab, first from Page.)

catstair canyon utah stacked cars in canyon
Some of the scrambling

How long is the Catstair Canyon hike?

About half a mile, round-trip. It’s really easy and takes less than an hour for the whole thing. If you start from the other parking area (the one on AllTrails) this is longer, between 1-2 miles but it may require rappelling.

cars in canyon utah
catstair canyon stacked cars lake powell

Is the Catstair Canyon hike easy?

Yes! I think there’s a longer version that might be a little harder, maybe more scrambling (possibly even rappelling? ) It’s a little confusing between what I’ve seen. Here is a post that includes rappelling and the more difficult way.

We did this from the other side of the canyon and its super short and only requires a little scrambling at the end. My parents did the scrambling just fine.

If anyone has done it the other way and can confirm rappelling or difficulty in the comments, I would love that!

catstair canyon utah stacked cars in canyon
catstair canyon stacked cars lake powell

Is the Catstair Canyon hike worth it?

Yes, if you want to stretch your legs on a long drive through the area, have a spare hour, like weird hike destinations, or have done everything else in the area. If you’re coming this way for something else on a weekend trip in Southern Utah, toss it in there. It’s a fun thing to do near Page.

If you’ve never been out here before, I’d pick other things first. It’s not a bad hike but it’s not super exciting either. I will say, it is short, so if you do it, it won’t take up a whole day, or even half a day so it’s worth it for a nice short hike.

Have you seen the stacked cars by Lake Powell in Catstair Canyon? What did you think of it? Do you want to go?

4 thoughts on “Catstair Canyon: Hike To Stacked Cars Near Lake Powell

    1. Haha I like those ideas! They were actually put there to hold the highway up/support it originally but that didn’t work and they just left them there.

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