Hanan Trail - West End

NOTE: The Hanan Trail and environs burned in Watson Creek Fire of August 2018. It may be a few years before this area recovers for recreational use.

Hanan Trail - West End, Fremont National Forest

Hike Rating: Easy
Hike Length: 6.5 miles roundtrip (variable)
Elevation Gain: 400’
Trailhead Elevation: 6,660’
Best Season: June through September
Driving Access: Any vehicle, once
       access road is snow-free

Plus Points
• Headwaters of a Wild-and-Scenic river, with extensive wet meadows
• Lots of wildflowers until late summer, due to many seeps and springs
• Historical route, a legacy of both Native American and pioneer cultures
• Abundant obsidian chip scatters along the trail
• Well-built trail, with gentle grade and footbridges across side creeks
• Easy trailhead access, just off paved road (details below)

Minus Points
• The surrounding lodgepole forests are mostly beetle-killed and a bit ghostly
• Cows may be present along the stream and in the meadows

Download (PDF, 696 KB): Photos of Hanan Trail - West
Download (PDF, 444 KB): Topo Map for Hanan Trail - West
Download (PDF, 528 KB): Road Map for Hanan Trail - West

Trail Notes
Map of Hanan Trail - West End
For the first mile, the trail winds through wet meadows and beetle-killed lodgepole pines. The trail is easy walking, on a gentle grade, with rock and log footbridges over the seeps and creeks. At one mile, the trail enters an open sage flat on the edge of an immense wet meadow, with abundant wildflowers and good views of the surrounding mountains. Look for obsidian chip scatters along the trail.

The trail then skirts the edge of this big meadow for about a mile before heading back into the trees along the stream (now only about a yard wide). For the third mile of the hike, the trail passes through pines and narrow “stringer meadows,” sometimes near the creek and sometimes away from it.

Extensive wet meadows, Hanan Trail - West End
Just past the three mile point, the trail again enters open, dry sage flats above a second huge wet meadow. This second meadow provides a nice hike destination and a great place to explore, especially during wildflower season. Look for red-tailed hawks cruising over the grasslands. There are several nice lunch spots under the shade trees around the meadow or back down the stream corridor.

Road to Trailhead
The trailhead is easily accessible, just off paved Road 28, where it crosses the Sycan River. Here you’ll find a rail-fenced parking area called the Sycan Trailhead Forest Camp (which has been completely cleared of beetle-killed trees), along with a vault toilet.

Camping Options
If you can handle the open exposure and the cleared trees, you can camp right at the Sycan Trailhead Camp. There's plenty of space for any type of camping rig, plus a vault toilet — but no drinking water and not much in the way of natural amenities.

Dispersed campsite along Sycan River, off Road 28
If you are self contained with your own water and sanitation, there are several nice dispersed campsites starting two miles north of the trailhead along Road 28, west off the paved road and next to the stream. These are pull-off areas in the meadows and trees along the Sycan River.

About 4 miles north of the trailhead on Road 28 is the Rock Creek Forest Camp. This is a small, developed campground between the road and the Sycan River, with six free campsites and a pit toilet, but no potable water supply. It is a bit primitive and exposed to the road, but there are a few nice sites along the river at this forest camp.

Finally, there is the Pikes Crossing Forest Camp, about 12 driving miles northwest of the trailhead, off paved Road 30. It has six free campsites on a grassy bench above Paradise Creek, where it joins the Sycan River. Many beetle-killed lodgepole pines have been cleared from around the campground. It has a pit toilet but no drinking water and will accommodate any size camping rig.

Agency Contact: Fremont National Forest, Paisley District, (541) 943-3114

DISCLAIMER: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, but the authors do not guarantee that it is either current or correct. The reader assumes full responsibility for any use of this information, and is encouraged to contact local federal land agencies to inquire about current conditions before traveling.

Page last updated: 12/22/11