Aztec Butte Canyonlands National Park

Moab, Utah 84532

Aztec Butte Canyonlands National Park

Aztec Butte: Canyonlands National Park Professional Review and Guide

"A short but not easy climb to a scenic viewpoint of the Island in the Sky area. This hike can be deceptively difficult. The first two-thirds of the trail is well defined and on packed sand, but near the end of the hike, you follow cairns as you climb about 200 feet up a difficult slickrock slope.

The climb up the slickrock slope to the top of the butte is more difficult than ascending Whale Rock, and there are no handrails. Make sure you have appropriate shoes, and be careful."

More Aztec Butte: Canyonlands National Park Professional Reviews and Guides

"Before 1300 A.D. there were many Anasazi Indians living within the boundaries of Canyonlands National Park. They generally lived in the canyons below the mesas where water was more abundant-particularly along the Green River.

But they also made frequent trips to the mesa tops for the purpose of gathering food, and there is still a great deal of evidence of their habitation on the Island in the Sky Mesa. The best place to see the remnants of these prehistoric people is on Aztec Butte, where the Anasazis built a number of granaries for storing the food they collected. Trail: Easy trail with some climbing."

"Easy hiking on a sandy trail leads to a scramble up the slickrock flank of Aztec Dome to several Native American ruins below the flat summit.

The mile-long Aztec Butte Trail climbs to the flat summit of 6,312-foot Aztec Butte, one of the highest points on the Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park. The trail offers easy hiking on a sandy trail and then scrambles up slickrock slabs to the flat summit. The hike highlights are great views and several ancient granaries used by Ancestral Puebloan people over 1,000 years ago."

"From high above the mesa, one of the highest elevations in Canyonlands, Aztec Butte overlooks sheer cliffs and labyrinthine canyons in every direction.

As you scramble up these steep slickrock faces in high-traction trail shoes and ultralight day packs, consider the ancestral Puebloans shod in yucca sandals and laden with baskets of grain as they ascended these buttes to store their harvest in small stone structures sealed with mud. These beautifully preserved granaries still stand today as a testament to the ingenuity and determination of people who survived in this desert climate."

Aztec Butte: Canyonlands National Park Reviews

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9/24/2006
Interesting hike with good views going up and at the top. Not very difficult if you have walked slickrock before. Watch for cairns as you come to butte from below. Sometimes rockslides can look like cairns and it can be easy to miss the route, which angles to the right.
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2/9/2006
Short (1.5 mi) hike. You will probably slide down on your butt on the way out and some following cairns on the top so it provides some good experiences for new hikers. Great view on top.
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Trail Information

Moab
Nearby City
1.2
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
Year-round.
Season
Nat Geo Trails Illustrated Map: Island in the Sky
Local Contacts
Nat Geo TOPO! Map (USGS): Musselman Arch and Upheaval Dome
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018