Kane Creek Canyon Trail in Moab, Utah
Trailhead Location: About 15 miles south of Moab on Hwy 191. Just past the hole-in-the-rock gift shop on the W side of the road.
Trail Mileage: 15 Miles one way
Riding Difficulty: Moderate to difficult (Rated 3.5 on Moab’s 4 point rating scale)
The Kane Creek Canyon ranges around 22 km and is very popular in Moab. The other names of this trail are Kane springs canyon and Kane creek. The primary trail stretches along the Colorado River and the path gets quite windy sometimes. There are several creek crossings that you witness on the Kane Creek Canyon trail and the viewpoints are spectacular. If you love rock art then this trail would give you immense joy.
The road remains hassle-free mostly but the area might get very muddy if rain occurs. If there is rain then this trail should be definitely avoided as there remains a slight chance of small flash floods occurring. The trail condition of the Kane creek canyon doesn’t always remain the same due to erosion so it is advisable to check with the BLM. The first most gorgeous spot you will find here is the moonflower canyon.
This area is more like a campground with plenty of shade to enjoy the surrounding is a great comfort. This place is a bit greenish enclosed by stone builds. You will also find rock art and some belongings of ancient native Americans. There was an ancient ladder that has been reconstructed and was used before to get up a better viewpoint on the rock cliffs. You can explore the moonflower canyon a little more and walk into the elevated areas to find cottonwood trees and desert plants.
Then further into the Kane creek canyon, you will find the elephant panel trailhead. If you are much into hiking then you should park your ride and follow the dirt road towards the hill. In here you will find amazing rock art among which the elephant panel is much famous. After getting back to the trailhead you will find the mile panel which is a sub trail that climbs up steeply to a wall. When you reach the wall you will find amazing rock art petroglyphs which will take you to prehistoric times.
On the left of the wall, you will find an owl-art that is gorgeous in its own way. The view of the canyon which you will find again up a few miles will be wonderful. When you reach the false kiva trailhead it is recommended to take the social trail that reaches towards the cliffs. The false kiva combined with more unique rock art will keep you amazed till the end of the Kane creek canyon.
Road type and further details
The kinds of road present in this trail mostly include gravel region at the start until you reach the first creek road. As the river stream flows very close to the trail the middle regions of the trail have a silt bench type of road with gullies present to adjust properly through. When you pass the crisscross section of the creek the road will get a little sandy and the brush is thick as well. The later elevated section of the trail will have rocky roads and shelf rock formations.
Terrain: River bed, sand, gravel, rocks
Best Travel Season: Caution should be used during high run-off times as the trail crosses the river numerous times.
Map Availability: National Geographic has two detailed maps of Moab area trails
Time: more than two hours