The hike up Mara Canyon is one of the best in the region, but we hiked up the loop trail to the summit, then we came down the canyon for this outing. We drove the side road from the CNR level crossing to the end of Ord Road, then followed the trail through the sagebrush toward the mouth of the canyon. We turned right to follow the steep single track that climbs the ridge between Mara Canyon and the larger canyon to the east.
It is 1.7 km with an average slope gradient of 30% to the junction below the peak. We then climbed up the steep single track on loose material to the top and looped over to the viewpoint on the south rim.
The route is a scramble down the bottom of the canyon, over fallen trees, down eroded gullies, along narrow tracks, down two small waterfalls, through a narrows, and out into the rocky, barren hills at the mouth of the canyon.
This rugged route is only 7km, but it is often steep, on loose material, and has sections where care is required, but the scenery is varied and dynamic, a destination for those who love wild places.