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Hiking in San Rafael Swell

I-70 running through San Rafael

The San Rafael Swell is a hiker’s paradise. There are hundreds of areas to hike. We have chosen just a few favorite trails to highlight. Before setting out on a trip, be sure to get a map and more trail information.




  • Wedge Overlook is one of the best scenic vistas in the state. You’ll see a dizzying viewpoint of this fantastically eroded gorge. It overlooks the San Rafael River as it flows through the "Little Grand Canyon." There are about 3 miles of mostly flat hiking trails at the overlook.
  • Little Wild Horse & Bell Canyon loop: This hike is one of the San Rafael’s most popular destinations. It offers hiking in slot canyons with only moderate challenge. While your at Little Wild Horse check out all of the canyons in the Crack Canyon Wilderness Study Area. Each one makes for an exciting hike: Crack, Chute, Little Wild Horse, and Bell Canyons.
  • Horseshoe Canyon North Wilderness Study Area offers a trail to a 5-hole arch. This magnificent 1 hour hike is just one of many in this region. Spend a day (or two) exploring them all.
  • Muddy River through the Chute is a favorite hike. It is more challenging, as it requires some canyoneering, but no special equipment. There is a potential of having to wade or swim through water. As when hiking all canyons, be aware of the potential for a flash flood and take all necessary precautions.
  • The San Rafael Reef is a fabulous place to hike. Favorite areas include Uneva Mine and Old Woman’s Wash. The Behind the Reef Trail offers expansive views in the San Rafael Reef Wilderness Study Area.


    The Price BLM office is happy to assist you as you plan your trip. Contact them (435) 636-3600 or visit their web pageCanyoneering: The San Rafael Swell, by Steve Allen. is a recommended guidebook. It is available at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum’s bookstores (along with many other guidebooks), in any bookstore or on line.