We spied this possibility on Google Earth and were eager to test it. The HDT take a big sweeping turn to contour around the head of Lockhart Canyon before finding an uncliffed entry into it. This route beelines for the nearest cliff and threads its way down to rejoin the HDT just above the Lockhart Canyon Jump. When we arrived at the edge of the cliff it looked intimidating (difficult to impossible), but we carefully scouted around. Although we each found a seperate way down the cliff, I highly recommend the route I took (as marked). If you do not follow the route carefully as marked you could potentially waste a lot of time or find yourself in a bad spot. If you follow it, the capable Hayduke hiker will have no trouble at all. Two scrambly downclimbs lead to a slickrock bench which should be traversed towards the pinnacle-style arch (a crab-walk downclimb may be necessary to get off this slickrock bench). Just in front of the arch is a boulder cave. Climb down about 5 ft into this boulder cave (a pack pass may be nice), then continue out the bottom entrance of this cave. Traverse easy slickrock benches and flats back towards the jump. We thought it a really neat little route. This route leaves the HDT at Section 2 Mile 16.8 (Mile 56.5) and rejoins it at Section 2 Mile 20.9 (Mile 60.6). This route is 1.0 miles in length and cuts 3.1 miles off the HDT while adding interest and challenge.
- NCBarth 2013