Horseshoe Canyon South, Horseshoe Canyon North, and French Spring–Happy Canyon WSAs Trails

Hanksville, Utah

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Horseshoe Canyons South and North are proposed wilderness areas that bracket the Horseshoe Canyon detached unit of Canyonlands National Park. The famous rock art panel “Great Gallery” is the centerpiece of a canyon system that boasts the greatest concentration of Barrier Canyon–style art in the San Rafael Desert. In places, art as old as 5,000 years bears an overlay of more recent rock paintings. Hiking the national park section of the canyon and then continuing south or north into Bureau of Land Management areas offers several advantages. The signed, easy access and marked trail provided by the national park gets you off to a good start, and you are guaranteed a view of some of the best rock art. Leaving the park boundaries means leaving most of the crowds behind—solitude and unimproved campsites that don’t require fees or reservations are the reward for those willing to backpack, or to take longer day hikes. There are no marked trails in the BLM wilderness study areas. This trail guide includes descriptions of Horseshoe Canyon South, Horseshoe Canyon unit of Canyonlands National Park.
Utah's Wilderness Areas: The Complete Guide

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Utah's Wilderness Areas: The Complete Guide

by Lynna & Leland Howard (Westcliffe Publishers)

Horseshoe Canyons South and North are proposed wilderness areas that bracket the Horseshoe Canyon detached unit of Canyonlands National Park. The famous rock art panel “Great Gallery” is the centerpiece of a canyon system that boasts the greatest concentration of Barrier Canyon–style art in the San Rafael Desert. In places, art as old as 5,000 years bears an overlay of more recent rock paintings. Hiking the national park section of the canyon and then continuing south or north into Bureau of Land Management areas offers several advantages.

The signed, easy access and marked trail provided by the national park gets you off to a good start, and you are guaranteed a view of some of the best rock art. Leaving the park boundaries means leaving most of the crowds behind—solitude and unimproved campsites that don’t require fees or reservations are the reward for those willing to backpack, or to take longer day hikes. There are no marked trails in the BLM wilderness study areas. This trail guide includes descriptions of Horseshoe Canyon South, Horseshoe Canyon unit of Canyonlands National Park.

©  Lynna & Leland Howard/Westcliffe Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hanksville
Distance: 19
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Best Spring through Fall
Trailhead Elevation: 4,200 feet
Top Elevation: 6,500 feet
Local Contacts: Bureau of Land Management, Henry Mountains and San Rafael Resource Areas
Local Maps: USGS Hanksville, Keg Knoll, Bowknot Bend, Sugarloaf Butte, Head Spur, Gordon Flats, The Pinnacle
Driving Directions: Directions to Horseshoe Canyon South, Horseshoe Canyon North, and French Spring–Happy Canyon WSAs Trails

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Apr 2018