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. All access roads may become impassable during storms.
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.
When staff are available, guided walks into Horseshoe Canyon are offered during spring and fall (see dates below). 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.
April 2014 Schedule
Hikes will be offered on April 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th at 9:00 a.m.
May 2014 Schedule
Please check back soon.
From the west rim trailhead, the hike to the Great Gallery is seven miles round-trip, descending 750 feet and requiring up to five hours or more. Pets are prohibited below the rim of Horseshoe Canyon. Group size is limited to 20 people. Bring your own drinking water. There is no water above the canyon rim and water sources are unreliable within the canyon.
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. The following regulations govern the stock in Canyonlands:
Did You Know?
Some of the rock art in Horseshoe Canyon was painted over 3,000 years ago. Now known as "Barrier Canyon" style rock art, it was painted by nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers that roamed throughout the southwest. More...