3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
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](https://www.nps.gov/thro/planyourvisit/backcountry-camping.htm) 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](https://www.nps.gov/thro/planyourvisit/hiking-and-trail-information.htm)