Horseshoe Canyon

Horseshoe Canyon contains some of the most significant rock art in North America. The Great Gallery, the best known panel in Horseshoe Canyon, includes well-preserved, life-sized figures with intricate designs. Other impressive sights include spring wildflowers, sheer sandstone walls and mature cottonwood groves along the intermittent stream in the canyon bottom. Horseshoe Canyon was added to Canyonlands in 1971. Learn more about the archeology of this place.


Most visitors access Horseshoe Canyon from the west. Two-wheel-drive vehicles can usually travel the 30-mile graded dirt road from UT 24 (near Goblin Valley State Park), or the 47-mile dirt road traveling south from Green River. Driving time is roughly 2.5 hours from Moab or 1.5 hours from Green River. A four-wheel-drive road leads to the east rim of Horseshoe Canyon from the Hans Flat Ranger Station. Visitors should be prepared for unpredictable weather (such as rain or sand-shifting wind) that can quickly change road conditions from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive condition. Check road conditions page, or call ahead for the current road conditions at (435) 259-2652 between 8 am and 4:30 pm Mountain Time (Please do not call this number between 5 pm and 8 am except for Maze-area emergencies!)

Do not rely on a GPS unit to guide you to Horseshoe Canyon. Use a map instead.


Be prepared for hiking on uneven terrain, over steep rocky areas and slogging through sand.

  • The hike to the Great Gallery is seven miles (11.2 km) roundtrip, requiring five hours or more.
  • A steep descent of 780 feet (237 m) at the beginning means a steep climb back up at the end of your hike.
  • Pets are prohibited on the trail or below the rim of Horseshoe Canyon.
  • Group size is limited to 20 people. Larger groups must arrange in advance to go with a ranger or split into smaller groups.
  • Bring your own drinking water. We recommend one gallon (4 L) per person. There is no water above the canyon rim, and water sources are unreliable within the canyon.