Horseshoe Canyon

Canyonlands National Park, Horseshoe Canyon
Location: 50 miles south of Green River, Utah
Length of visit: 4 to 6 hours
Major draws: Pictographs, canyon hiking
Strenuosity: 6 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Flash floods, high clearance vehicle required to drive from Green River, Utah
Description: 7 mile trail in-and-out of 800 foot deep canyon with best pictograph panels in the southwest U.S. Trailhead is 30 mile dirt road drive east from Highway 24 and accessible to passenger vehicles, but 50 mile route from Green River requires high clearance vehicle.

Cathedral Valley

Capitol Reef National Park, Cathedral Valley
Location: 60 mile loop (dirt) road northwest of Caineville, Utah
Length of visit: 6 hours to overnight
Major draws: Scenic drive, monoliths, sinkhole, red rocks, camping
Strenuosity: 0 to 2 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Flash floods, high clearance vehicle required to complete loop (deep sand, river crossing)
Description: Temple of the Sun (22 miles) and Gypsum Sinkhole (26 miles) accessible with passenger vehicle, but best scenery is on other half of loop with Caineville Wash, Bentonite Hills, Lower South Desert Overlook, and Walls of Jericho. Free campground with pit toilets available at top of loop. Recommend starting with river crossing and driving clockwise.

Grand Wash

Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Wash
Location: Fruita District east of Torrey, Utah
Length of visit: 2 hours
Major draws: Arch, canyon hiking
Strenuosity: 4 out of 10
Cost/Fees: $10 per vehicle or America the Beautiful pass
Additional considerations: Flash floods
Description: 2.6 mile in-and-out hike to narrows along level bottom of sandy wash beneath high sandstone walls. Side trail also climbs to Cassidy Arch.  Trail access is free from Highway 24.

Hole in the Rock

Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument, Hole in the Rock
Location: Mile 56 Hole in the Rock Road (dirt), Escalante, Utah
Length of visit: Half hour
Major draws: Historic site, views of Lake Powell, scenic drive
Strenuosity: 4 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: High clearance vehicle required
Description: Site where Mormon pioneers blasted road to Escalante River in winter 1880. Short walk to overlook, but rock scrambling required to access Lake Powell.


 

 

Coyote Gulch

Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument, Coyote Gulch
Location: Mile 36 Hole in the Rock Road (dirt), Escalante, Utah
Length of visit: 8-10 hours
Major draws: Arches, natural bridge, canyon hiking
Strenuosity: 9 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Scrambling required, wading, flash floods, high clearance vehicle required
Description: 13.5 mile loop hike into Coyote Gulch from end of Forty Mile Ridge Road (7 miles, high clearance required) passes cliff dwellings, waterfalls, Stevens Arch, Jughandle Arch, Coyote Natural Bridge, and ends at Jacob Hamblin Arch.

Peakaboo Slot Canyon

Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument, Peakaboo Canyon
Location: Mile 26 Hole in the Rock Road (gravel), Escalante, Utah
Length of visit: 2-4 hours
Major draws: Slot canyons, red rocks
Strenuosity: 5-7 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Tight spaces, scrambling, 2 mile spur road may be impassable when wet
Description: Short downhill trail to 3 slot canyons; less than 1 mile to Peakaboo and Spooky Canyons that form a 1 hour loop but require some scrambling. No climbing required at Brimstone Canyon located 2 miles further in.

 

Devil’s Garden

Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument, Devil’s Garden
Location: Mile 12 Hole in the Rock Road (gravel), Escalante, Utah
Length of visit: half hour to 1 hour
Major draws: Arches, red rocks, hoodoos
Strenuosity: 3 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Half mile spur road may be impassable when wet
Description: Picnic area down a graded dirt road to scenic rock formations. Off trail exploration through desert environment (watch out for cacti) to Metate and Mono Arches.