Horseshoe Canyon

Hanksville, Utah

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1 Review
5 out of 5
Horseshoe Canyon contains what is probably the finest display of prehistoric Indian rock art in the United States. The famous Great Gallery, largest of several Horseshoe Canyon sites, is 200 feet long, 15 feet high, and contains dozens of intriguing red, brown and white pictographs. The paintings are at least 2,000 years old, and possibly as old as 8,000 years. As you approach Water Canyon be sure to watch for the first two pictograph sites, one on each side of the canyon. The trail passes right by them. These sites, like the other two that you will see later, were painted by the Archaic People between 2,000 and 8,000 years ago. The third site is situated in a huge alcove on the west side of the stream, about 0.6 mile up-canyon from the first two. Unfortunately the alcove site has sustained substantial damage, both natural and man-caused, and it is not as impressive as the others. Finally, 1.3 miles from the alcove site, or 3.7 miles from the beginning of the trail, you will come to the Great Gallery.
Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

Horseshoe Canyon contains what is probably the finest display of prehistoric Indian rock art in the United States. The famous Great Gallery, largest of several Horseshoe Canyon sites, is 200 feet long, 15 feet high, and contains dozens of intriguing red, brown and white pictographs. The paintings are at least 2,000 years old, and possibly as old as 8,000 years.

As you approach Water Canyon be sure to watch for the first two pictograph sites, one on each side of the canyon. The trail passes right by them. These sites, like the other two that you will see later, were painted by the Archaic People between 2,000 and 8,000 years ago. The third site is situated in a huge alcove on the west side of the stream, about 0.6 mile up-canyon from the first two. Unfortunately the alcove site has sustained substantial damage, both natural and man-caused, and it is not as impressive as the others. Finally, 1.3 miles from the alcove site, or 3.7 miles from the beginning of the trail, you will come to the Great Gallery.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hanksville
Distance: 7.4
Elevation Gain: 540 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Day hike
Duration: 4.25 hours
Season: Year-round, best spring and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 5,340 feet
Top Elevation: 5,340 feet
Local Contacts: Canyonlands National Park
Local Maps: USGS Sugarloaf Butte
Driving Directions: Directions to Horseshoe Canyon

Recent Trail Reviews

5/18/2010
0

If you're into rock art, this is definitely the trail to do! We took a Malibu to get to the trail. Just take it slow. A 4X4 is definitely worth takiing if accesible. The trail is very sandy. Bring something to cover your face bc you're gonna get pelted. The pictographs are really neat and the canyon was a lot prettier than I expected. Binoculars help for the high gallery.



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