Kane Creek Canyon Trail

San Juan County, Utah

Elevation Gain4,114ft
Trailhead Elevation4,198ft
Elevation Min/Max4168/5070ft
Elevation Start/End4198/4198ft

Kane Creek Canyon Trail

Kane Creek Canyon Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in San Juan County, Utah. It is 12.8 miles long and begins at 4,198 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 25.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,114 feet.

Kane Creek Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The trail winds back and forth across the floor of Kane Creek Canyon and crosses Kane Creek many times. It then climbs rapidly up the narrow end of the canyon, providing some terrific photo opportunities and a few small challenges. Officially this canyon is called Kane Springs Canyon, but most people refer to it as Kane Creek. I don’t recommend you drive this trail during the hot summer months when biting flies become a problem.

This trail is on the borderline between moderate and difficult. Stock vehicles with skid plates can get through although some experience is necessary. Tight brush, in a few places, will rub against the sides of your vehicle. Avoid this trail during periods of heavy runoff as stream crossings may be too deep. There is a high shelf road as you near the end of the trail. Backing may be required to pass. Be aware of the possibility of flash floods in the narrow canyon. Route-finding is easy except for a brief spot at the beginning. Although there are spur roads that depart into side canyons, the main trail is obvious most of the way."

"Challenging and scenic trip into narrowing, remote canyon with many water crossings. Don’t go alone. Stay on main route at all times. This area has been heavily abused by irresponsible riders who think they can go anywhere they see a small path. Trail could be closed if abuses continue.

Rocky and washed out in places. More than 20 significant creek crossings, some of which are deep even during dry periods. I found the worst crossing mid-thigh deep. Primary route is sometimes hard to determine through wet section. Easy to get stuck in mud or ensnared in tight brush if you get sidetracked. End of trail climbs rocky shelf road to difficult point where most riders should turn around."

"Follow difficult but scenic trail to an outstanding overlook of Kane Creek Canyon. Many legal side roads to explore. Stay on existing roads at all times. Watch for bikers. Avoid this area during the 24 Hours of Moab Bike Race, held annually over a 3-day weekend in mid-October.

Contact Moab Travel Council or BLM for dates. Some of this trail follows segments of “Tip Toe Behind the Rocks” Jeep Trail. This trail has steep, rocky ledges that are difficult for ATVs. Some ledges have bypasses, some do not. For advanced riders only. Don’t go alone."

"This is a wet one. Kane Creek usually has an ample flow, and the ride dives right into it. The sand is rideable for the most part, but it gums up drivetrains! The canyon induces claustrophobia with towering, crumbling walls.

It’s almost a relief when Hurrah Pass comes into view. As a loop with the Pritchett Arch route (Ride 21) and the numerous roads of Behind the Rocks, this ride is extremely exhausting."

Kane Creek Canyon Trail Reviews

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Fun trail. Has a little bit of everything. A lot of stream crossings and through trees. The last bit of the trail has a loose rock climb that would be hard to do without lockers, but it can be done. Be ready to make this climb if you are going to do the whole trail. The hard part is in the last mile and if you don't do it you will have to back track about 16 miles to get out.
We trekked Kane Springs Canyon on ATV’s and found it to be a fun ride. There are several areas that are challenging for intermediate riders, and just a couple of areas that can only be passed by advanced riders. 2WD ATV’s should be able to make the trip as there are ways around the tough areas; but, I recommend having a winch work through them instead (~20” rock steps). The multiple water crossings is what make the journey as fun as it is; there are even portions that the creek running directly on the trail for a way. The trail is very narrow in spots allowing the ATV to just fit. This is a trail worth recommending to others!

Kane Creek Canyon Trail Photos

Trail Information

San Juan County
Nearby City
USGS Kane Springs, Trough Springs
USGS Moab, Troughs Springs Canyon, Kane Springs
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018