Row Bench

excerpts from the book
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails
by David Day

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Distance: 5.2 miles (plus 14.8 miles by car)

Walking time: 3 1/4 hours

Elevations: 960 ft. gain, 2,520 ft. loss
     Row Bench Trailhead (start): 8,240 ft.
     highest point: 9,200 ft.
     Center Canyon Trailhead: 6,720 ft.

Trail: Little used, but not too difficult to follow. Numerous sheep trails in the area can cause some confusion. A compass is useful.

Season: Summer through mid-fall. The road to Row Bench Trailhead may be closed from about December through May, and snow can be expected on the trail until mid-June. For current conditions call the Heber Ranger District, Uinta National Forest, at (435) 654-0470.

Vicinity: Daniels Canyon, near Heber

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     The Row Bench Trail is a little used hiking trail that connects the upper part of Strawberry Valley to Daniels Canyon, southeast of Heber. Most of the walk is through dense quaking aspen with some Douglas fir. It is very pretty-especially in September when the aspen are changing color. During the second half of the hike, as you begin to drop down from the ridge separating Strawberry Valley from Daniels Canyon, the forest opens up to some breathtaking views of Daniels Canyon and the mountains beyond. The area is open rangeland, so you may see some sheep. There is also a large population of deer in the area.

     From Mill B Flat the trail rises gently in a southerly direction, up the side of Strawberry Valley, for about 0.2 mile before turning west to follow a dry wash towards the ridge above. You will see a barbed wire fence running below and parallel to the trail for about 0.1 mile before the path turns up the wash. After turning west, the trail climbs up the bottom of the dry wash for about 1.0 mile, then levels out near the top of the ridge above Strawberry Valley.
     Soon after reaching this ridge, the trail crosses to a second ridge separating Center Creek and East Fork Three Forks. It then winds pleasantly along the crest for another 1.5 miles before descending abruptly onto Row Bench. Row Bench is a relatively flat plateau on the side of the mountain, running parallel to and about 900 feet above the Daniels Canyon road. If you listen carefully you may hear the traffic on the road below at this point.
     After you reach Row Bench the trail becomes somewhat confusing because sheep grazing on the bench have created other trails, and it is sometimes difficult to tell which trail is which. The correct trail continues in a southwesterly direction to a large clearing near the southern end of the bench, and then turns 90 degrees to a northwest heading. If you are on the correct trail you should see occasional blaze marks on some of the larger aspen trees. About 0.3 mile from the clearing the trail passes through a log fence and begins descending sharply through another small wash towards the bottom of Center Canyon. Finally, 0.5 mile after leaving the bench you will intersect a jeep road at the bottom of Center Canyon. Turn left and follow this jeep road for 0.9 mile, to Highway 40, where your shuttle car is parked.

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