Grey Wall Canyon is an obscure canyon in the northern Grapevine Mountains which contains grey-colored walls, four springs (with no surface water), and some nice narrows. Difficulties encountered on the hike include route finding to access the canyon and dealing with minor obstacles while progressing up canyon. A Google Earth map of the hiking route (turned to the northwest for better viewing) can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for the mouth of Grey Wall Canyon are 36° 59.541'N, 117° 18.723'W. GPS coordinates for the canyon split are 37° 0.426'N, 117° 17.664'W.
Grey Wall Canyon is not a place that is known by many people. And even among those who know of its existence, very few have actually visited the canyon. Grey Wall Canyon is the northernmost major canyon in the central block of the Grapevine Mountains. If you were to list in correct order the major officially and informally named canyons which drain out the western side of the Grapevine Mountains, starting from the farthest south, they would be -- Titanothere, Titus, Fall, Palmer, Little Arches, Red Wall, Rock Nettle, Moonlight, Backthrust, and Grey Wall. The beginning of Grey Wall Canyon also happens to be almost exactly 3 air miles southeast of Scotty's Castle. As for the canyon name, the name Grey Wall was actually chosen by the web site American Southwest, who had a hiker visit the canyon and provide the first-ever report on it. On at least one geology map, Grey Wall Canyon is called Question Mark Canyon, probably because the map creator couldn't find an existing name for it. Whatever the case, the canyon does deserve an informal name, and Grey Wall is quite fitting. What I liked about the canyon was that it was consistently narrow and the walls were always interesting to look at. In some of my included full set of pictures (especially the latter half), you will see some remarkable beauty that might take you by surprise. And that may cause you to want to visit the canyon yourself. To reach the mouth of Grey Wall Canyon, I hiked about 3 3/4 miles from Scotty's Castle Road, parking 1/2 mile north of mile marker 29 (or halfway in between mile markers 29 and 30). To the northeast you will see a range of mountain tops which you will begin hiking up the wash toward. Surprisingly, the hike through the wash to the canyon was extremely easygoing. Almost the entire time, there was solid ground to walk on either to the right or left of the wash, or directly in the wash. There are also four springs to check out along the way. But the bottom line is that I really enjoyed my day hiking in Grey Wall Canyon. I hope to be able to explore the area beyond the canyon split someday in the future. The journey is 5 3/4 miles each way with an elevation gain of nearly 1,600 feet if you hike from the parking area to the canyon split. I should probably add a note that while solo hiking through the central narrows, I had an uneasy feeling that a mountain lion was in the area. But I never came across one, so it was probably just nerves. My hike took place on November 13, 2009.
Many more photographs taken during our visit are available for viewing for this destination. To see all of them, choose one of the two options presented below. The two options are Slideshow viewing and Trip Report viewing. The Slideshow option allows for viewing larger images with an autoplay option and a full screen option (available on most browsers). This option works very well for large computer screens and tablets. The Trip Report option allows for viewing smaller pictures in a standard scroll-down format and enlarging of any panoramic photos taken during our visit. Click on the option of your choice to view all of our photos from this destination. The Slideshow format opens in a new browser window and the Trip Report format uses the same browser window for viewing.
TRIP REPORT FORMAT