OverviewThis is not the Lands End found on the southern shore of England. This Lands End is one of the most isolated peaks in the state of Utah. The peak itself is not much of a hike or a challenge but getting there is where the challenge is. This Lands End is only approachable via 60 miles of dirt road that translates into a drive of 120 miles round trip and to a place rarely visited by most mortals with common sense.
Only those seeking the prominence peaks of the state of Utah would probably find this worth the long drive but yet, there is a beauty to be found here as the top of Lands End provides an interesting viewpoint for some of Canyonlands most remote areas. Lands End is on the low end of the Utah Prominence list at #79 with its 2031 feet barely making the height requirement to qualify on the 2000 foot list. For more information on prominence, check out this page
This prominence peak presents an unusual adventure and while it is not challenging as mentioned above, it is every bit an adventure. Plan on at least six hours to a full day for your visit, with four to five hours involved in the travel part and then two hours doing the short hike and climb to the top of Lands End and sightseeing along the way. A unique spot is the Flint Trail overlook and the access it provides to The Maze. Information on The Maze and the Flint Trail can be found by using Google and doing some research on the area before you venture there would add a lot to your visit to this isolated part of Utah.
One note of interest is that when we visited the Hans Flat Ranger station,
we were told that we were the first visitors in over 5 days, and that was over the normally busy (everywhere else) 4th of July weekend. The Hans Flat ranger station is considered to be the gateway to The Maze.
From 1-70, take Utah Highway 24 south toward Hanksville for 24 miles. An easily missed dirt/gravel road takes off to the east just beyond (south) the turnoff to Goblin Valley State Park. A sign marks the road itself but you need to be looking for the road turnoff as you could easily pass it. This road crosses a cattle guard and is not paved at any point along its way. It is 45 miles to Hans Flat, where a manned NPS ranger station is located. High clearance is not necessary for this part of the drive but be warned that you will encounter spots of soft sand, rocks in the road and teeth rattling washboarded bumps along the way. Pay attention to the few signs you will see and be equipped with a map of the area and back country awareness. There are no services to be found so you need to be self sufficient and a key requirement is having plenty of water. The Hans Flat ranger station has to import its own water supply so don't expect to find a faucet with readily flowing water, it is a precious commodity in this arid and desolate area. While 4WD is desirable, you could probably make Hans Flat in a carefully driven 2WD vehicle. I was happy to be in a high clearance 4WD vehicle for this one. You must go prepared and be self sufficient for this one.
Beyond Hans Flat, a high clearance 4WD is mandatory. The road quickly becomes rough, nasty in spots and would not be where I would take my trusty family passenger vehicle. It would cost a fortune to be towed out of the area, a fortune. From the ranger station, it is roughly 14+ miles to where we parked my truck. That 14 miles took over an hour of driving and that time was helped out a bit by several spots of decent road.
Red Tape and more
Lands End is located within Canyonlands National Park and for more information, you could contact:
Canyonlands National Park
2282 S. West Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532-8000
Some info about the Hans Flat Ranger station
This ranger station lies on the northwestern boundary of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It serves both The Maze of Canyonlands and northern Glen Canyon visitors. The site is open year-round on a daily basis from and while the hours most of the year are8:00 to 4:30., it shifts to an opening of 9 a.m. during the winter. (It is closed some winter holidays.) Visitors will find rangers on duty at the Hans Flat Ranger Station with current road and trail information. There is also a small sales area at this site where visitors can purchase books and maps about the area. There are no amenities at this site so visitors should bring water and supplies for their endeavor in the area.
If you intend to camp, there are designated areas but you will need to bring a portable toilet system as there are no toilet facilites (other than the one vault toilet near Hans Flat. The ranger station had a couple for sale when we were there but you would be best served to bring your own set up.
"Back country vehicle campers stay in designated vehicle sites and must provide their own washable, reusable toilet systems"
From this resource
I have copied the following which will also add to a "feel" for what is
available in this area besides Lands End.
"The infrequently visited MAZE DISTRICT is an extraordinarily wild and inhospitable area of great beauty. It features remarkably convoluted slickrock canyons and wonderful red rock formations. Exploring the Maze requires navigating rugged and often difficult 4wd roads (unless, of course, you hike in). Much of the best hiking is among confusing and difficult, though fascinating, finger like canyons. There are no services or supplies anywhere near the Maze, which remains one of the wildest and most pristine areas in the lower 48. It is for the experienced, prepared and adventurous.
The Hans Flat Ranger Station in the Glen Canyon NRA is the de facto entrance station to the Maze district. It sits on a 6,400' peninsula that offers some great panoramas of Canyonlands. The most expansive views are to be had from Panorama Point 10 miles past the ranger station. You might also want to take a spur road near Panorama Point to Cleopatra's Chair, a huge sandstone monolith. North Canyon Trail and Golden Stairs Trail are the two established hiking trails in this area.
The Maze Overlook area contains the remarkably sinuous canyons that give the Maze its name. The hiking in this area is for the experienced only.
The Land of Standing Rocks offers some of the best scenery in the district. There are numerous interesting named rock formations as well as some nice canyon views. At the end of the Land of Standing Rocks Road is the Doll House, so named for its cluster of rounded rock spires. Getting to this area by 4wd vehicle involves some difficult and very slow driving. Six scenic camping areas are available for vehicle camping. A set of trails are accessible from near the Doll House area: Spanish Bottom Trail, Surprise Valley Overlook Trail, and Green River Overlook.
Horseshoe Canyon is a separate unit of Canyonlands situated 20 miles north of Hans Flat Ranger Station. The main attraction of this pretty canyon, however, is the Great Gallery -- a collection of life size pictographs created by an archaic Indian culture that existed from 8000 B.C. to 450 A.D. These pictographs may be the most impressive such collection in the country. The Horseshoe Canyon Unit is accessible from Hans Flat from the south or on 2wd dirt roads from the northwest. The road from Hans Flat is rough but navigable by high clearance 2wd vehicles in dry weather. Most persons coming from Hans Flat drive to the canyons northeastern corner and descend on a steep difficult 4wd road into the canyon. The road ends along the canyon floor and a hiking trail leads another 1-1/2 miles to the Great Gallery. A less used and more difficult route from Hans Flat approaches the canyon's southern rim. A hiking trail there descends 600 feet (1-1/2 miles oneway) to the Great Gallery.
Other Things to Know (the campground that used to be at Horseshoe Canyon is now closed.
Overnight camping in the Maze District proper requires a permit ($10). Person's with vehicles (including bikes) must camp at one of the designated vehicle sites ($25 for a permit). Call 435-259-4351 for information."
Please take the time to check out the linked resource for additional information and the maps they have used for an overview.
CampingCamping is available in limited sites near Hans Flat and Lands End. More information on this can be
found by contacting Canyonlands National Park. Camping is also available at
Goblin Valley State Park and at a State Park campground located in the town of Green River, off I-70.
Goblin Valley State Park
Green River State Park
Some maps show a campground at Horseshoe Bend but that campground has been closed. The rangers at Lands End mentioned that you could camp west of the Ranger Station on BLM land but since we were making this totally a day trip visit, my recommendation for those interested in camping would be to check with the rangers at the ranger station for more specific information.
We found two rangers on duty when we arrived there at 10 a.m. and a third ranger came in a bit later. They actively patrol this area of the park and
have quarters nearby. These rangers are helpful and love what they do. Take the time to visit with them and learn from them.
The hike and the registerFirst let me state that if I had this one to do over again, I'd want to spend at least a couple days in the area and explore more of the terrain. The now famous BlueJohn Canyon or Aron Ralston fame is north of the area as well as Horseshoe Canyon and the Maze. Of course, I'd choose a different time of year, fall or spring when the temps would be lower but there is much to see in the area.
The hike itself isn't much of a challenge if you can drive your vehicle on the nearby road system. I managed to park less than a half mile from the summit and the elevation gain was only about 300 feet overall. Still, the views from the top of Lands End were amazing and we found a cairn and a register located at the highest spot.
Totals: 0.6 miles roundtrip (yes, pretty lame) However, if you can't get
close in your vehicle, it'll be a much longer hike. The elevation gain isless than 300 feet, depending on where you park. Pick your own line to the summit but try to minimize walking on any cryptobiotic soil you might encounter. Any impact you make will last a long time in this environment.
I parked here: 38.1043 -110.1325
The register was placed in 2003 and the next signees were in 2006. I noted our own SP members, Greg and Kadee had signed in April of 2008
Books & MapsMy primary resource to the area was this book:
Other books and maps will be added to this section as I continue to develop this page.
Flint Trail and the road to Hite (not for the meek)A few more tidbits
The rangers on duty told us that the Flint Trail (a road) was in good shape at this time. It is wise to check with the rangers should you want to utilize this road and also to let them know where you are headed. I have some pics of the Flint Trail as it drops down from the mesa land and you wouldn't want to take a big vehicle down it. The smaller the wheel base the better as it was made for jeep size vehicles.
DisclaimerHiking, climbing or traveling in this type of country can be inherently dangerous, the above information is provided only as a courtesy. You accept all risk and responsibility for your activities in this area and I recommend that you let others know of your plans and where you will be hiking/climbing prior to heading to this area. Be self sufficient and carry plenty of food, water and shelter in the event of a breakdown. Good quality tires are a necessity on the rough and rocky roads you will encounter as is a vehicle in good condition. Roads may become impassable when wet. Avoid the area during electrical storms and avoid high ridges &exposed areas. Having said all that, have a good trip and please let the author of this page know of changes that you encounter.
Please let me know if road conditions or access changes.