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Pearson Canyon – Willard Utah

Willard, Utah


Waterfalls, Panoramas, Rocks, Mountain Goats


2 Miles as the crow flies

Parking Lot Elevation


Summit Elevation


Elevation Gain/Loss


Time Required

5-10 Hours depending on group size and fatigue





Water Info

About half way down there are springs to drink from

Best Season

Summer, Fall

Sun Exposure

Most of this canyon is in full sun exposure

Trail Condition

VERY steep, VERY rocky. Not for the light hearted



Visitor Center



Near Inspiration Point




Very good shoes, Helmets, Harnesses, 50 ft. webbing per person, 4 rapides, at least 300 feet of rope, we brought one 200 ft. and one 300 ft. All gear for a technical descent.

Driving Directions

The Trail:

Pearson Canyon is a narrow steep canyon in the Wasatch Mountains above Willard, Utah. This trip has off roading, hiking, mountaineering, and canyoneering elements all mixed in to one day. This hike is brutal. It should not be attempted by anyone inexperienced or horribly out of shape. It would be VERY easy to get hurt or stuck and rescue here would be a nightmare. This hike starts at Inspiration Point.

The video here was provided by our friend Jeff Guest so make sure to check it out!

This hike is only two miles as the crow flies. In that 2 miles it descends 4900 feet! Those numbers speak for themselves as far as steepness goes. There is not a level spot from the time you leave the truck. I don’t think I took one normal solid step the entire trip. It is all downclimbs, boulder hopping, scree, or bush whacking. It took about 5 days before I was walking normal again. I can’t say enough about being prepared and only taking people ready for the challenge. We had several very experienced canyoneers and every one was beat by the end of the day. There are four mandatory rappels, and countless downclimbs in this canyon. If you choose to go you will be rewarded with gorgeous views of some of the most rugged beautiful country anywhere. This is a canyon that very few people ever see. There is also a great chance of seeing mountain goats! I would recommend wearing long pants for this one because there is a ton of poison ivy in the bottom sections. Make sure to bring water because you won’t run into any until about halfway through. You will park your vehicle right at the top of Inspiration with beautiful views of Willard Peak to the south.

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If you look just south west of the parking you will see this spire which is what you will hike towards.


This hike immediately starts out very steep with lots of small loose rock to walk on. Walking sticks greatly helped several of us. Here are some of the sights of the first few minutes.

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The canyon then narrows and loses most plant life. Here there are lots of small downclimbs. Just go at your own pace and be safe. You will want to enter Pearsons at:

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Even near mid June is a bad snow year we ran into one snow drift that was surprising.


You will get awesome views of some of the spires this area is known for.

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Shortly after these you will be to the first water! This cold spring was very welcome after the knee breaking descent. The approach to this point took us almost two hours.


Just after the first spring is the first rappel. This is estimated at 40-50 feet. It is located at:

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The second rappel is shortly thereafter. This was everyone’s favorite because it had the most water and 30 feet of free hang. The moss on these rappels is very slick so be careful. Its like trying to grip on snot. We estimate it at 60-70 Feet. It is located at:

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The third rappel is estimated to be 120-140 feet. It is located at:

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There are a lot of downclimbs before the last rappel. There is a fair amount of water so watch your footing. This is the approach to the last rappel and looking down the last rappel.

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The 4th rappel is estimated at 240-250 Feet. It is located at:

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You can take off all the technical gear after this point and make sure to put on long pants. From here on out its a pretty terrible bushwhack with lots of poison ivy. There is no trail what so ever. Just find a path that is safe and head down canyon. Here is a photo showing you how thick it is to the end of the canyon.


The Return:

You will need two cars to ideally make a shuttle. We left one car in Willard and used it to retrieve our truck at the top after enjoying a much needed meal in Brigham City.

Personal Thoughts:

This was possibly the most exhausted I have ever been. At least as far as my limbs. Its the equivalent of doing thousands of squats with a back pack and gear on. All with uneven footing. I can’t stress enough that this is a very tough hike that shouldn’t be attempted by everyone. If you do want the challenge it is a very rewarding adventure in to country almost no one ever gets to see.

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The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

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About The Author
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @

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4 Comments on "Pearson Canyon – Willard Utah"

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Thank you so much for this info! What a great website this is. The information is very detailed and useful.


were there bolts in place before each reppel? or did you guys do natural reppels I couldn’t tell by your pictures.