NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
Horseshoe Canyon contains some of the most significant rock art in North America. The Great Gallery, the best known panel in Horseshoe Canyon, includes well-preserved, life-sized figures with intricate designs. Other impressive sights include spring wildflowers, sheer sandstone walls and mature cottonwood groves along the intermittent stream in the canyon bottom. Horseshoe Canyon was added to Canyonlands in 1971.
Most visitors access Horseshoe from the west. Two-wheel-drive vehicles can usually travel the 30-mile graded dirt road from Utah Highway 24 (near Goblin Valley State Park), or the 47-mile dirt road traveling south from Green River. Driving time is roughly 2.5 hours from Moab or 1.5 hours from Green River. A four-wheel-drive road leads to the east rim of Horseshoe Canyon from the Hans Flat Ranger Station. Visitors to this area should be prepared for unpredictable weather (such as rain or sand-shifting wind) that can quickly change road conditions from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive condition. Check road conditions page or call ahead for the current road conditions at (435) 259-2652 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Please do not call this number between 5:00 pm and 8:00 am except for Maze area emergencies!)
HikingBe prepared for hiking on uneven terrain, over steep rocky areas and slogging through sand.
Visitors may camp at the west rim trailhead on public land managed by the BLM. A vault toilet is provided but there is no water. Overnight camping is not allowed in Horseshoe Canyon within the Park boundary.
Guided walks for 2015 will be scheduled on Saturdays starting March 28th and continuing through May 23rd. To join, be at the west side Horseshoe Canyon trailhead bulletin board at 9:00 a.m. to meet the ranger. This is a strenuous seven-mile hike lasting 4 to 6 hours and visitors should be prepared with a gallon of water per person, lunch and other hiking essentials. If staff are available it may be possible to arrange a special guided walk.
The trail into Horseshoe Canyon from the west rim trailhead is an old 4WD road that is suitable for horses. Group size limit is ten animals and ten people. Permits are free and may be obtained at the Hans Flat Ranger Station or by phone at (435)259-2652 (ONLY call this number between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm). The following regulations govern the stock in Canyonlands: