Horseshoe Canyon lies northwest of The Maze district of Canyonlands National Park. It is a detached area of the park appended in 1971. This canyon contains several panels of Fremont and ancient Puebloan rock art, In addition to older examples. The site known as the Great Gallery lies three and a quarter miles from the West Rim Trailhead and contains well-preserved life size figures.
Begin this hike from the western rim of Horseshoe Canyon at a site maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The trailhead consists of a vault toilet and a few campsites. Camping is not permitted within Horseshoe Canyon.
The trail leads southward from the trailhead descending steadily for the first half mile through steep rock walls. The trail then turns northward and begins a short, but steep descent to the canyon floor. Once on the canyon floor the trail leads through lush cottonwood groves and a diverse community of plants. There is plenty of shade and water available in Horseshoe Canyon.
The trail winds two and a quarter miles through Horseshoe Canyon leading southwestward. There are at least four significant panels of rock art accessible from the canyon floor. Due to the amount of traffic this canyon gets well-worn paths should lead to each site. Keep your eyes open for spur paths leading away from the drainage and the main trail. Ranger-led walks through Horseshoe Canyon are available most Saturday and Sunday mornings. Call the Hans Flat Ranger Station for more details.
Directions: From I-70, West of Green River take Exit 147 and drive southward 24 miles. Pass the turn for Goblin Valley State Park. Immediately south of that access road is a dirt road leading left, turn here and drive 25 miles southeastward to the turnoff for Horseshoe Canyon.
Elevation: 5,300 feet
Ending Elevation: 4,800 feet
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