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The Jacobs Lake Loop is a beginner style trail located north of Escalante in Garfield County. The loop takes you 84 miles from the town of Escalante and back. It takes about six to seven hours of driving to complete.

The terrain is mostly comprised of maintained dirt roads, except for a brief stretch that takes you on the Boulder Swale OHV Trail (the OHV trail is limited to 50″ vehicles so don’t plan on bringing a full size 4×4 on this portion of the loop).

This loop takes you by an astounding amount of mountain lakes and features some spectacular views of the forest and some iconic lookout points including Hell’s Backbone.

Starting the trail from the town of Escalante is the easiest way to begin and stage your vehicles provided they are street legal.

You can also find just about every amenity you need in town including gas, lodging, and food. If you are looking for camping there is also plenty of campsites along the trail including the Posey Lake Campground and the Blue Spruce Campground.

Much of this trail rides through Dixie National Forest. Make sure you’re familiar with the Forest’s rules and regulations about recreation in the area. For more info visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/dixie.

There are many intersections in this loop so make sure to pay attention to trail signage and check your GPS so that you keep going the correct way.

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We highly recommend you get GAIA GPS for your mobile device. GAIA GPS will allow you to download this trail complete with the photos you see here so you can be sure where you are at all times. Simply install the GAIA GPS app and save this trail from the button below.

Would you like to see the trail in an animated 3D flyover map? If it appears to pause, that is likely a place I stopped for a while. It will continue, just wait a few moments. Link to 3D flyover.

Here is the 360 view at the trailhead. Feel free to tour around a bit inside Google Street Views. We have recorded the trail in 360 and it is now part of Google Street Views so you can take a virtual tour of the trail to see if it is for you. We’ve made it a bit easier to navigate, scroll down and you will see more 360 embedded tours as we encounter intersections, trail markers or interesting places along the trail.

On any image, you can click the ‘X’ in the upper right corner and the view will change to an overview map showing the Google Street View blue lines. You can click anywhere on that blue line and drop down to the 360 ground-level views at that point.

You can move the image 360 degrees, click the arrow to move further down the trail and zoom in and out to take a closer look. Clicking the box in the upper right-hand corner will enlarge to full screen for a better view.

You can find ample parking in town. The city park makes for a nice spot to start from since its a central location and close to the road that will take you to the dirt. Once you get on to Posey Lake Road just take it north until the pavement ends and the dirt road begins. The first sign noting distances and locations. Follow signs for Hell's Backbone for this portion. Follow FR 153 toward Hell's Backbone. The turn off for the Blue Spruce Campground. Find more information about this campground here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dixie/recarea/?recid=24988 Follow signs for Hell's Backbone for this portion and arrive at beautiful overlooks at Hell's Backbone. Well worth the stop! The next portion of the trail will take you by McGath Lake. Follow the signs to lead you there. Important note: Full size vehicles are NOT permitted on the Boulder Swale OHV Trail portion. Next, turn south onto FR 154 to begin your trip back to Escalante. Turn on to FR 152 to continue the loop. Then follow signs back to Highway 12 to complete the loop.

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