Upper Salt Creek Canyonlands National Park

Monticello, Utah 84535

Upper Salt Creek Canyonlands National Park

Upper Salt Creek: Canyonlands National Park Professional Review and Guide

"A long hike, well suited for backpackers, through an intriguing desert valley. Names can be misleading. Somehow, “Salt Creek” seems to imply a dry, harsh, and unpleasant place when quite the opposite is true. Upper Salt Creek is definitely one of the most delightful hikes in the Canyonlands, and it deserves a name like 'Desert Paradise Creek'."

More Upper Salt Creek: Canyonlands National Park Professional Reviews and Guides

"The view from the trailhead is spectacular, another of the canyonland area’s notable viewpoints. Below you, the wide-bottomed, deeply incised Salt Creek Canyon and its tributaries, spread out like cracks in dried mud. Sheer thousand-foot cliffs drop from the mesa tops exposing thick layers of sandstone.

The erratic erosion has formed many scenic and visually appealing features in the sandstone, including several natural arches. The area’s abundant water, flat canyon bottom, and concealed alcoves made Salt Creek an ideal home to the Anasazi, whose ruins and rock art dot the Salt Creek region."

"Canyonlands National Park combines opportunities for spectacular backcountry hiking with a chance to see numerous archaeological sites. One of the best places in the park to find both wilderness and prehistoric relics is upper Salt Creek. The Salt Creek area was occupied by the Mesa Verde branch of the Ancestral Pueblo people primarily between A.D. 1075 and 1150.

The large drainage is the only place in the park with both arable land and a perennial water supply. These benefits, combined with the fact that the canyon walls offer protection from the elements and have numerous alcoves suitable for holding cliff dwellings, resulted in a heavier prehistoric occupation of Salt Creek than surrounding areas. Today, all you have to do to find cliff dwellings and rock art along Salt Creek is keep your eyes open. The more you look around, the more sites you’ll find. If you go, make sure you see two particularly interesting sites, the Big Ruin cliff dwelling and the All American Man pictograph."

Upper Salt Creek: Canyonlands National Park Reviews

4
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
9/18/2003
Great trail!! Beautiful scenery! Lots of indian ruins and pictographs. Must have a backcountry permit as it is in the boundaries ot the national park most of the way. Saw bear tracks...who would have thought! The first couple of miles is grueling if you go in from the south end but the effort is worth it!
0
Comments

Upper Salt Creek: Canyonlands National Park Photos

Help others discover amazing sights!

Trail Information

Monticello
Nearby City
22
Distance
Shuttle
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
Year-round
Season
Nat Geo Trails Illustrated Map: Needles
Local Contacts
Nat Geo TOPO! Map (USGS): Druid Arch, South Six-shooter Peak, and Cathedral Butte
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018