OverviewI always wondered what is inside that canyon. It lies right next to Indian Creek and the upper Lavender Canyon is part of Canyonlands, Needles district. Somehow, I was imagining fields of growing lavender. Silly me, there is no lavender there.
Lavender canyon was named after David Lavender, a rancher-turned author who was an occasional guest on the nearby Dugout Ranch. It is mostly 4WD adventure, with short hikes in the national park section. Obviously, you can hike in the lower section of the Lavender canyon, but we did not explore this part. The lower section of the canyon is very open, sandy and full of cows.
It is 14.6 miles from the road 211 to the park boundary, you don't need a permit for this section of the road, but you do need a permit if you wish to drive inside the National Park section of upper Lavender Canyon. You obtain the permit at the visitor center, Needles district of Canyonlands. The park will charge you 10$ park entrance fee and 5$ for back country permit. Park ranger then will give you a 4 digit number to open the lock at the gate. I was surprised that they had no information about this part of the park at the visitor center. I asked whether they have some booklet with what to expect, but park ranger had nothing to offer.
If you wish to explore the park section of the upper Lavender Canyon without a permit, then you have to go on foot. The dirt road in the park section of the Lavender Canoyn abruptly ends at 4.2 miles. Most indian ruins and arches are before you hit Cleft Arch (at 4 miles).