Horseshoe Canyon Climber's Log

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FVinson42 - Jul 6, 2023 12:00 pm Date Climbed: Jul 2, 2023

Greatness is never easily achieved  Sucess!

Prepared for months for this hike knowing what we were likely to encounter attempting this trek in early July. Ran into a completely different situation in that the Temps were 'tolerable' and shade was abundant in the canyon. What we were NOT prepared for or expecting was the ravenous hordes of MOSQUITOS along the creek bed in the canyon. I must've been bit over 40 times. They were relentless. However they did motivate you to move through the canyon from panel to panel as fast as you could. But any advice on doing the hike in the near future should include taking DEET or a good bug spray along as it would be as important if not more so than sunscreen. The drive out from Green River from I -70 to UT24 and then the 32 miles of dirt road was fairly easy. We woke up at 3:30 and make it to the Trailhead by 6am. The road was well marked and even in the dark we did not really need map coordinates. They say GPS doesn't work here but Google Maps works and is acurate as long as you load it prior to starting out. Again, the route was well marked and you could get there even without a map as long as you go slow and read the directional signs. We encountered some sand on the road but nothing impassable. The only vehicle there when we arrived was a pickup truck which gave us a strange 127 hours deja va. We realized when we parked next to it though that it was a parks service truck so we knew there was at least someone in the area. We left a note on the dashboard of our SUV though with our time and date of departure just to be safe. Don't be decieved but the low temps at dawn. It was 68 degrees F. when we set out and 104 degrees by the time we got back to our vehicle. The other big factor....and the one that nearly did me in is the 800 foot climb out. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS OBSTACLE. We did the Fifth Water hike the day before outside of Spanish Fork and at the entire Great Gallery hike 'seemed' to be much easier....more shade, lower temps. lower elevation....up until the great wall at the end of the hike. The hike down and throough the canyon is nothing short of spectacular and the panels....the Great Gallery in awe inspiring. Nothing compares to being face-to-face with these Ghost-like spirt images. They rival anything you would encounter in the Louvre, Getty or British Museum. 42 years after first seeing them in Koyaanisqatsi to stand in the presence of their greatness will take your breath away. Even my normally apathetic teen aged sons were inspired by the sight of them. As for supplies, We took over 12 liters of liquid between us....split betwen reg. water, Electrolite water and gatorade among the standard jerkey,, lunabars and gel packs. We only used 8 liters however. The Great Gallery and the Alcove are the best spots to sit and eat because of their impressive backdrop. Not to belabor the point but by FAR the most difficult part of the hike is the final push back up the canyon wall we used 4 of the 8 liters we drank on this final assualt. My teenage sons (18 & 14) took to the wall and indeed the entire hike voraciously but my 61 year old frame was nearly defeated by the final 800 ft climb out due to the sun now being out and fully exposing us to his debilitating rays.Note: there is little to no shade on the trail section up and down the canyon wall. The obvious take away would be that it is wiser to do this hike in the offseason when the heat is likely not such a factor. We only had a limit amount of time at a specific time of year to even attempt the hike and we had figure that with the amount of preparation that we had invested that we would be able to handle it....and we did. We WERE successful. We WERE prepared. We would have not bagan or undertook the hike if the temps had been higher or if there was rain in the area or if we had physically unable to start or continue the hike. But given the hindsight we now have the experience would most definately been more enjoyable, not to mention easier if we had gone at a different time of year.


vanman798 - Mar 28, 2022 3:09 pm Date Climbed: Oct 3, 2010

Ancient rock art   Sucess!

Oct 3, 2010 I hiked into Horseshoe Canyon and saw the ancient rock art of the High Gallery, Horseshoe Shelter Gallery, Alcove Gallery and the famous Great Gallery.

Stu Brandel

Stu Brandel - Oct 19, 2015 11:20 pm Date Climbed: Oct 18, 2015

Canyon A Suitable Frame...  Sucess!

...for the interesting pictographs. I was not expecting such a scenic canyon, it was wonderful. My son Evan accompanied me, and turned 19 this day.


Misa - May 27, 2015 12:31 am Date Climbed: May 23, 2015

a nice canyon  Sucess!

a nice hike to see the petroglyphs, the canyon itself is nice too...

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - May 25, 2015 7:42 pm Date Climbed: May 23, 2015

finally  Sucess!

I planned a visit here for a long time, but always felt guilty to leave my dog at home. Anyway, definitively a nice place to explore, I would not camp at the parking lot. Much better and nicer places when driving to Blue John canyon - west fork offers some spectacular primitive camping and away from crowds.


utahjimk - Nov 25, 2011 2:21 pm Date Climbed: Apr 9, 2003

dinosaur tracks & rock art  Sucess!

any visit here is a 'success'.


americanswiss - Mar 8, 2011 12:26 am

Ralston  Sucess!

Had to make the "pilgramage" to experience it for myself.

Matt Lemke

Matt Lemke - Dec 26, 2010 10:57 pm Date Climbed: Oct 19, 2008

Nice petroglyphs and hike  Sucess!

My second Utah canyon...truly a spectacular area


vanman798 - Oct 5, 2010 6:23 pm Date Climbed: Oct 3, 2010

Nice Rock Art  Sucess!

Nice peaceful, and interesting half day stroll. Taking our time we checked out all four rock art galleries. Learned that the canyon is home to more unadvertised rock art galleries also. Need to get back and find the unadvertised galleries!

Round trip was around 4 hours.


ArankaP - Oct 3, 2009 12:51 am

Horseshoe Canyon

Peaceful and warm in the canyon while cold at the upper road. Nice history very unique with lots of petroglyphs and few dinosaur's foot prints.


goofball - Oct 13, 2008 10:23 pm

Love the rock art !  Sucess!

Need to get into the lower canyon some time and check that out...

John Styrnol

John Styrnol - Sep 23, 2008 7:23 pm Date Climbed: Oct 18, 2003

Done It Twice  Sucess!

Done this one twice, awesome pictograph panel.


D-bo - Jan 31, 2008 6:54 pm

Remote  Sucess!

Made me feel like a speck in time. Sure made the coyotes jealous of my sausage and pancakes breakfast back at camp though.


lindasyh - Oct 9, 2007 7:42 pm Date Climbed: Sep 26, 2007

Great experience  Sucess!

A long way off the beaten path but worth it for the privilege of viewing the ancient rock art.

Michael Hoyt

Michael Hoyt - Oct 9, 2007 6:36 pm Date Climbed: Sep 26, 2007

Spectacular  Sucess!

Normally one for summits and ridges, this canyon proved impressive, both for the scenery and for its record of human history.


seanpeckham - Aug 8, 2007 7:49 pm

Horseshoe Canyon  Sucess!

March 1999 with D-bo
Enjoyed the remoteness, the hike (despite the heat), and the pictographs. Definitely wouldn't mind returning some time.


Kiefer - Feb 6, 2007 12:02 am Date Climbed: Feb 3, 2007

Horseshoe Canyon  Sucess!

Absolutley stunning and beautiful! Had the entire canyon to myself! Couldn't believe it. Spent the night under the stars in only my sleeping bag. Cold but manageble. Will definately return one day.

Mountain Jim

Mountain Jim - Dec 30, 2006 8:14 pm

The Great Gallery  Sucess!

I've been here several times and hope to return many more times.
This panel is the "Sistine Chapel Ceiling' of rock art with over two hundred images. And, it's a very spiritual place.


Scott - Oct 23, 2006 6:53 pm

Many times  Sucess!

Been there many times, including when doing Bluejohn Canyon.


mountaingazelle - Oct 23, 2006 12:48 am Date Climbed: Oct 7, 2001

Horseshoe Canyon  Sucess!

This is one of the best rock art sites that I have seen. My favorite was the Holy Ghost. A very unique and beautiful place.

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