Long Draw Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Hard
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
2.7 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
489 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Long Draw Hike is an extreme excursion into the inner canyon. Reserved for experienced hikers, this trail requires adventurers to scramble loose rock screes and technical terrain. You will be anything but bored as you maneuver the Long Draw Hike.

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Route Description for Long Draw Hike

The Long Draw Hike, formerly known as the Devil’s Slide, is a steep hike down into the narrow Black Canyon. This adventure is extremely stimulating and fun if you don’t mind venturing off the beaten path. Permits are required for this hike and can be reserved at the North Rim Ranger Station the evening before, or the morning of your hike. There are a limited number of permits per day allotted, and if you get one, you will have to complete a safety briefing with a park ranger.

Once you get your permits sorted, it’s time to prepare. Wear long pants and long sleeves on this hike as it is notorious for poison ivy. Additionally, we recommend wearing gloves to protect your hands as you navigate steep rocky terrain. Be prepared to maneuver down loose rock screes and rock ledges on this hike. Pack plenty of water and snacks to refuel at the bottom before you tackle the ascent.

When you are ready, depart the Balanced Rock Carpark and head northwest along the road to the trailhead. When you meet the trailhead, follow the Long Draw Trail down the steep gully. Walk through the dense forest and navigate roots and rocks as you descend into the gorge. Exercise caution when stepping on rocks, make sure they are sturdy before pressing all your weight down. Maneuver the switchbacks and rock ledges all the way down the primitive path.

When you get down to the Gunnison River and back on level terrain you will be bewildered by the narrowness of the steep cliffs that encompass you. The perspective from the bottom of the canyon is way grander than those from the viewpoints above. Take a break or camp overnight at one of the designated campsites before commencing your ascent.

Retrace your steps all the way back up the steep gully to the carpark. Be careful of loose rocks falling on hikers behind you. When you have completed the hike, let a park ranger know.

Getting to the Long Draw Hike Trailhead

Access the Long Draw Hike from North Rim Drive. Park at the Balanced Rock View Parking Lot and walk northwest along the road until you encounter the Long Draw Trailhead.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Yes, permits required

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Long Draw Hike Elevation Graph

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