Photographically Preserving Utah's Treasures Before Time Takes Them From Us

  Horseshoe Canyon is a separate chunk of desert to the west of Canyonlands National Park and not attached, but is part of Canyonlands National Park. The pictographs found in Horseshoe Canyon have been declared to be the best pictographs in the United States, and perhaps the world.  The four panels are about 200 feet long, 15 feet high and consist of life size images believed to have been created some 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.  
  Take Hwy. 24 south from I-70 Exit #149 for 25 miles to Mile Marker 135.5 which is 1/2 mile south of the turn-off to Goblin Valley State Park. Turn east onto a well-maintained dirt road which has a sign on Hwy 24 directing you to Rooster Flats and Hans Flat Ranger Station.  Follow this road for 24.3 miles to a signed fork with an information kiosk. Take the east fork which leads to Horseshoe Canyon. Take this smaller dirt road for 5.1 miles until you reach the "Horseshoe Canyon Foot Trail" sign. Follow that road 1.7 miles to the trail head. Note: 35 miles of dirt road assures no crowds.
  From the trail head, it is a 7.5-mile round-trip hike to the pictographs on the lower canyon walls.  Along the way and nearby the pictographs are dinosaur tracks embedded in the stone. Plan on 5 to 8 hours for this adventure and bring plenty of water.  In mid-summer, daytime temperatures are often in the 3-digit range. Start early in the day.
  The hike has a significant elevation change of over 800 feet during the first and last 1.5 miles - down into the Canyon and then back up.  BRING PLENTY OF WATER. The canyon is mostly soft sand which makes hiking more strenuous. 
  A well-maintained automobile can manage this journey. The weather changes continually in this region and the road conditions will change.  A higher clearance vehicle is recommended, SUV or pickup truck. 4-wheel drive may be necessary if caught in a rainstorm or if winds have created sand drifts across the road; somethings desert winds do.  

The first panel of pictographs encountered once at canyon floor.  Perhaps among the oldest in Horseshoe Canyon.    
Copyright © 2018 - 2024 Raymond Cannefax - All photos are Copyright protected and may not be reproduced without written authorization.

This Canyonlands section is on the northeast part of the Colorado Plateau which is home to many deeply cut canyons in a high desert environment. Drainage for Green and Colorado Rivers.
Note the big-horn sheep pictographs
Note the possible pet, the large canine. Coyote?