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discovering God's creation

Wild Horse Canyon – San Rafael Swell

Wild Horse Canyon is an interesting canyon. It first cuts through the reef, then traverses about a mile between sections of the reef. There is a grand variety of forms from rocky narrows to broad flat sections. In no place is it difficult.

Trail Rating

Overall rating = easy

Distance: 1 mile total – easy
Elevation gain: <100 feet - easy Terrain: hard packed trail through the canyon - easy Exposure: The hill down into the Wild Horse Wash is fairly steep -easy To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System

Getting There

This trail is located off SR 24 between Interstate I70 and Capitol Reef National Park near Goblin Valley State Park. Drive 24 miles south from I70 exit 149 to the temple Mountain Road, or 20 miles north from Hanksville.

Turn west onto the Temple Mountain Road and drive 5.2 miles to the Goblin Valley Road.

From the Temple Mountain Junction, take the Goblin Valley Road south about 1/2 mile then take any of several small dirt roads off to the west. There is a network of roads here, suitable for 2wd vehicles, that lead to several parking spots overlooking the wash of Wild Horse Creek.

Directions from I70

Location and parking for Wild Horse Canyon

Location of Wild Horse Canyon


For a one page printout of the directions click Directions to the Wild Horse Canyon

The Trail

From the parking area on the edge of the wash, climb down the embankment into the Wild Horse Wash and then head along the wash in a south west direction to the reef. It is about 1/2 mile to the narrows section.

Wild Horse Canyon is the obvious canyon cutting through the reef just to the left (south) of a prominent cave half way up the reef that is easily seen from the parking area.

Canyon to the left and south of distant cave

These are some of the pictures that we took.