Jones -> Talkington -> Paddock Loop

A long circuit through remote badlands with multiple access points and plenty of options to shorten or lengthen your hike.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
18 km
Ascent
230 m
Descent
230 m
Low Point
683 m
High Point
764 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Jones -> Talkington -> Paddock Loop Map

Description

This circuit, a conglomerate of the Jones Creek, Lower Talkington, and Lower Paddock Creek trails, is an epic tour through stunning badlands, along sagebrush hillsides, and through sandy riverbeds. Wildlife roams freely along the hillsides, and though you are never too far from help, it won't take long before you feel like you're miles into the remote backcountry. As such, pack plenty of water, dress in layers, and always tell someone of your plans if you are hiking alone.

Looking at the map, you will quickly notice that there are several ways to access the loop. Shown here, there is a moderately sized pull-off where Jones Creek passes over Scenic Loop Dr. Another alternative is to park along the scenic road where the Talkington Trail parallels road just a few feet to the north. Neither restrooms nor water are available at any trailhead, though both are available at the visitor center when you arrive.

Per the park, if you're up for an even longer adventure, consider adding the Upper Paddock and Talkington Loop onto this circuit to nearly double the distance. Though an experienced hiker or trail runner could complete either in a day, a free backcountry permit could make for a perfect overnight trip. If you go that route, check with the visitor center or a park ranger to see if there is a preferred area to leave a vehicle overnight.

NPS

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area