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Upper Road Canyon, UT

Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.3 of 5 
61 5 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,392 feet
Elevation Gain -250 feet
Accumulated Gain 600 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9
Interest Ruins, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2019-05-08 AZLOT69
5  2017-10-05 AZWanderingBear
28  2015-04-28 big_load
23  2010-09-05 PaleoRob
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 225
Photos 5,981
Trips 1,093 map ( 2,433 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Apr, Sep → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:21am - 7:30pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

No road in this canyon
by PaleoRob

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Overview: Road Canyon is one of several canyons that drain the eastern side of Cedar Mesa, in southeastern Utah. While neither as long nor as popular as nearby Grand Gulch, Road Canyon is a beautiful slice into Cedar Mesa, peppered with ruins and rock art.

Warning: Be aware of flash flood danger while in Road Canyon - there are plenty of benches to avoid a flow, but the main exit/entry route into the canyon itself is down a canyon bottom, so floods may make travel impossible.

Hike: The hike starts at the unremarkable Road Canyon trailhead, just past the Lime Canyon turnoff. There are plenty of parking spaces and a few campsites near the trail. The trail is signed at the parking area, and for the .14 miles the trail winds through the pinon-juniper woodland. While it is unseen, the trail is paralleling a drainage to the southeast. Soon the drainage appears to your and the rim of a Road Canyon tributary splits the forest. Follow the rim (and occasional cairn) to the switchbacks that lead down 120 feet to the floor of the side canyon. This side canyon is chock-full of boulders, so route finding can be somewhat irritating (though never difficult). The side canyon opens up after the boulders, and you'll be walking on slickrock until just above the junction with Road Canyon. Here you'll encounter another series of boulders.

After reaching the main stem of Road Canyon, bear right. This junction is approximately .8 miles from the trailhead. Keep your eyes peeled for rock art and ruins. The trail is indistinct in this stretch of Road Canyon, and often times walking on benches above the wash will be the best option. There is one minor pourover that can be easily skirted on either side, but canyon-left is the easiest. Interesting rock formations appear along the rims, including spires and hoodoos. Ruins are very prolific in this canyon - some can be easily reached, others require scrambling and serious route finding along narrow ledges. Others remains totally inaccessible. While longer hikes down Road Canyon are also popular, most people stop and turn around about 3 miles in from the trailhead - the full descent of Road Canyon will be written up as a separate hike.

Water Sources: Ephemeral pools. Potholes below pouroffs will usually have some water after floods. The canyon has a running stream in the spring. Treat all water.

Camping: Camping at and near the trailhead possible and popular. There are many good campsites within Road Canyon as well for backpackers.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2010-09-06 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    The phone number for the permit desk is 435 587 1510. Day hiking permits are $2.00 per person per day. A seven day use permit is available for $5.00 per person. An annual day hiking permit is available for $20.00.

    When paying for your permit at the Kane Gulch contact station, please pay by check or credit card (not cash).

    Groups of 8 to 12 must reserve a permit in advance through the Monticello Field Office. DO NOT show up at the trailhead, the contact station or the Monticello Field Office with a group of 8 or more and expect to get a permit.

    Cost - There is an $8.00 per person (per trip, not per night) fee for overnight use of all of the Cedar Mesa canyons from March 1 - June15 and from Sept 1 - Oct 31.

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Blanding, drive west on UT95. At the junction of 95/261, turn left onto UT261. From UT 261, take the signed Cigarette Springs road for 3.5 miles to the unsigned junction on the north side of the road, just past the unsigned Lime Creek Road. Between the Lime Creek road and the turnoff for Road Canyon, there is a BLM sign stating that you are entering the Road Canyon WSA, and vehicle travel is restricted to established roads. When you see this sign, be prepared to turn.
    page created by PaleoRob on Sep 06 2010 7:53 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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