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The Granary Maze District Canyonlands NP, UT

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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 1.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,120 feet
Accumulated Gain 299 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 - 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.4
Interest Ruins & Historic
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
22  2017-09-30 Steph_and_Blake
Author Steph_and_Blake
author avatar Guides 100
Routes 61
Photos 2,522
Trips 176 map ( 751 miles )
Age 72 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, May → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:19am - 7:33pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

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The hike starts at the Spanish Bottom trailhead. A short distance out, about 140 - 150 yards, you'll see a trail that leads off to the right. Taking this turn will have you hiking in a counter-clockwise loop out to the ancestral Puebloan granary. The hiking is easy, on soft sand, and you weave through the colorful rock formations known as the Doll House. Pay attention for cairns as there are numerous social trails that can lead you astray. You'll soon come near what appears to be a solid rock wall. However, just before wall the trail takes a hard right turn and through a narrow opening through the spires of the Doll House.

Once through the opening you descend into a small walled valley (aka a graben). You descend further into the valley by passing through a "slot" in the rock that, at one point, forces you to remove your pack to get through. Continue on the trail and arrive at a sign pointing you in the direction of the granary (to the right). The trail then gently ascends and affords you great views of Surprise Valley (a much larger graben) on your left. After leaving the canyon rim of Surprise Valley, you hike for another 2 - 3 minutes to reach a small alcove. Within the alcove are the prehistoric granaries. The one on the right is a single "storage unit", while the one on the left is 3 units built together.

From the alcove you head back the way you came to the sign for the granary. Along the way you'll be able to see the Colorado River. You could completely retrace your steps by taking a left at the sign or, as I did, take a right and make a loop using the Spanish Bottom trail. The trail connecting the granary sign and the Spanish Bottom trial is about 1/4-mile long and descends towards Spanish Bottom (a flat, broad, sandy area in Cataract Canyon of the Colorado river). You'll shortly come to another grouping of signs. From here you take a left and pick your way among the slickrock and boulders to ascend back to your starting point. If you take a right at the group of signs, you can switchback your way down to Spanish Bottom . I'd suggest that if your legs are tired from previous hikes that you conduct this loop in a clockwise fashion so you don't have the moderately steep ascent at the end.

Check out the Official Route.

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

2017-10-09 Steph_and_Blake
  • Needles District - 1
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    Needles District - 1
  • Needles District - 2
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    Needles District - 2
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 $$
Information is listed below

Canyonlands National Park
Vehicles: $10 (Good for 7 days)

Map Drive
Strictly 4x4

To hike
To hike
Heading north on Highway 95 from either Blanding or Mexican Hat, take the turnoff for Hike. Top off your gas tank there. Get back on Highway 95, heading north towards Hanksville. Almost immediately after crossing the Colorado River, take a hard right onto Route 633. Take this road for about 53 miles to the parking area, on the left, right before the sign for Doll House #1 and #2 camping areas. The drive from Hite to the Doll House takes about 4:45 hours and requires a high-clearance, 4x4 vehicle and, at times, rather technical driving skills. A permit is required to camp in the Maze. The usual National Park fees are applicable.
page created by Steph_and_Blake on Oct 09 2017 4:49 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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