Kane Creek Canyon
San Juan County, Utah
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Nearby Towns: Moab
Nearby Trails: Cliff Hanger, Moab Rim, Flat Iron Mesa, Hurrah Pass, Pritchett Canyon, Cave Trail
Season: Year Round
Trail Length: 13.2 miles
Elevation: 4,172 to 5,104 feet
Named Obstacles: Ditch, Poser Rocks, Flex Rocks, Challenge 1, Challenge 2
Recommended by Les
Recommended by Monica
This is a different kind of trail for Moab, with lots of water crossings and shady spots. Even with the shade, this trail can get pretty hot. It's right outside of town so you'll probably see other people on the trail.
You follow the canyon with huge mesas on either side. Because of this you will be in shade for a larger portion of the day than you would be on other, more exposed trails in the area. The beginning of the trail starts after a long dirt road and winds its way down to the canyon floor along many narrow paths next to cliff edges. There are obstacles you can bypass or choose to conquer, though some obstacles are required. The views here are incredible as you work your way down the canyon.
The first optional obstacle is the Ditch, a fun and steep descent and climb out of a tight ditch. There is a trail that bypasses it, so you can easily skip this obstacle.
After the Ditch there are two sections of rocks. The Poser Rocks can be avoided, but they are fun if you're looking for a good picture of your rig. The Flex Rocks can only be avoided by a dirt bike, bicycle, or on foot. They are chunky and fun, and it should give you some indication of the challenges at the far end of the trail. The challenges are tougher.
Once you come down to the canyon floor you are surrounded by small trees and brush and alternate between sand and water crossings. You cross the Creek so many times you lose count! Sometimes you follow the Creek instead, driving in the water and on small boulders.
No matter what, stay on the trail. Do not follow the Creek unless the trail dictates it. Do not make your own trail.
Once you climb out of the canyon you are soon at the first challenge. There is a parking area at the bottom. It is a long hill of rocks with a cliff on one side. You may need to work at some of the rockier areas to get through. It's a long way back the way you came if you can't get up this hill.
After the first challenge you ride along the edge of a cliff on an easy road. It isn't long before you get to the second challenge, a rocky downhill followed by a shallow creek crossing and a rocky uphill climb. Wet tires make things more challenging, but this challenge isn't as tough as the first one.
This trail offers a little of everything, making it one of our favorites.
Information last updated on May 27th, 2012.
- May 19th, 2012: ran by Matt K., Mike S., Monica and Walt
- May 31st, 2006: ran by Andrew W., Bob S., Bob R., Cheryl, Don, Eric B., Kendall, Monica and Robert
- October 25th, 2003: ran by Derek, Ladd, Matt F., Monica and Tom B.
- October 18th, 2002: ran by Beth, Dave R. and Monica
From the McDonald's in Moab take Kane Creek Road and follow signs to Hurrah Pass. The trailhead is on the left before you get to Hurrah Pass and it is marked with a sign.
Meet at the McDonald's at Kane Creek Road and Main Street in Moab.