Grand Gulch Plateau Recreation Management Area

Quick Facts

Grand Gulch Plateau Recreation Management Area

Utah

(435) 587-1500

Map

Things To Do

Overview

The Grand Gulch/Cedar Mesa Plateau is a unique area for exploring. This is a place where cultural resources are found in remote, primitive and wilderness-like settings. A wealth of rock art panels consisting of petroglyphs and pictographs can also be found. Most canyons and cultural sites can only be reached by hiking or backpacking.

Day use and overnight use available. However long you plan to stay, you should find solitude in the beautiful nature of this region.

Maps are available through the Canyonalands Natural History Association at www.CHNA.org and at Visitor's Centers in Moab and Monticello.

Permits are required for day use and overnight use.

Map of Grand Gulch Plateau Rec. Management Area

Latitude, Longitude: 37.387618, -109.949799

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Contact park for bicycling oppurtunities.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Auto/motorcycle touring.

  • Camping

    There are no designated camps. Please use camps that have previously been used, or camp on slickrock to lessen your impact on the canyons. You must camp at least 100 feet from a water source. Camping, sleeping, cooking or lighting a fire in a ruin, or the alcoves they are in, is not permitted. Carbon and other introduced material can prevent dating and other scientific analysis of the site. When camping in Grand Gulch, note that the Split Level Ruin and surrounding bench area are closed to camping. In addition, you may not camp within one mile of the San Juan River when backpacking in Slickhorn or Grand Gulch.

    There are no fires allowed in Grand Gulch or in any of the other canyons on Cedar Mesa. Stoves may be used for cooking. Fires are allowed on the mesa top or where one is in a dispersed vehicle camping area. If you are going to have a fire, use a fire pan or an existing fire ring. DO NOT create a new fire ring.

  • Hiking

    Suggested Day Hikes

    These hikes are located on the Grand Gulch/Cedar Mesa Plateau

    Kane Gulch Grand Gulch/Cedar Mesa Plateau

    From the Kane Gulch contact station (located on highway 261) you can hike down Kane Gulch and into Grand Gulch. It is 4 miles to the junction of Kane and Grand Gulch and the trail drops approximately 600 feet in elevation. At this intersection, you can view a cliff dwelling called Junction Ruin. If you decide to continue, in the next mile you can see Turkey Pen Ruin and Stimper Arch. From Kane Gulch contact station to Stimper Arch is 10 miles round trip. That's about a full day hike for most people, especially because you'll want to take time to explore the cultural sites and take some pictures.

    Arch Canyon Arch Canyon is a twelve mile long box canyon located north of highway 95. If you are traveling west on highway 95 from Blanding, turn north on the Comb Wash road (a dirt road approximately one mile west of Comb Ridge, 14 miles west of the highway 95 and 191 intersection). The mouth of Arch canyon is 2 1/2 miles up that road. The canyon has beautiful redrock walls, and it is possible to see several arches. The creek that runs along the bottom of the canyon normally has water (all water should be treated prior to drinking). Look along the canyon walls for hanging gardens. As you look for hanging gardens, you are also likely to spot cliff dwellings. Please remember to treat these special places with respect. This trail has no fee.

    Mule Canyon The south and north forks of Mule Canyon are accessed from highway 95. Look for the graded county road (SJ 263) on the north side of the highway, approximately 19 miles west of Blanding, Utah. Because of the orientation of this canyon one finds slickrock walls mixed with ponderosa pines.

  • Historic Sites

    There are numerous cultural sites on the Grand Gulch/Cedar Mesa Plateau. The larger sites in Grand Gulch are marked on the map, but keep your eyes open for smaller less visible sites scattered throughout the canyons. It is unlawful to use climbing equipment to access archeological sites.

  • Horseback Riding

    All riding and pack animals must be fed certified weed-free feed for 48 hours in advance of and for the duration of the trip on public lands. Adequate amounts of feed will be carried for all stock.

  • Hunting

    Contact park regarding hunting rules and regulations.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Contact park for OHV oppurtunities.

  • Picnicking

    There are no fires allowed in Grand Gulch or in any of the other canyons on Cedar Mesa. Stoves may be used for cooking. Fires are allowed on the mesa top or where one is in a dispersed vehicle camping area. If you are going to have a fire, use a fire pan or an existing fire ring. DO NOT create a new fire ring.

Seasonality/Weather

Extreme heat is typical in summer. Snow and freezing temperatures in winter.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(435) 587-1500

Links