Lavender Canyon

Lavender Canyon

Page Type Page Type: Album
Additional Information Image Type(s): Hiking, Scenery


I 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).

Image guide to Lavender Canyon

Sign at the entrySign at the start of sand road
Ancient gas station at Needles OutpostMake sure you have enough gas=petrol, or benzin as we say in Czech:)
Small Creek crossingSmall creek crossing with Indian Creek cliffs in the background
2nd gate2nd gate - this one has no lock
Road in Lavender CanyonSandy Road
Sign indicating turn off for Lavender  Re-assuring sign
North Six ShooterNorth South Shooter
Bridger Jack MesaBridger Jack Mesa as seen from Lavender Canyon
Lavender CanyonLower Lavender Canyon
Lavender CanyonPretty scenic road - don't you agree? :)
Arch at the gate to the parkCaterpillar Arch
Pay attention to cowsCow crossing
Rainbow for a good night sleepRainbow, but luckily no rain
moonrise in Lavender CanyonMoonrise
Nice place for sleepCar sleeping is fun in a place like this
Simple dinnerSimple dinner - tasted good in such a surrounding
SunsetSunset on the cliffs
Dogs are not allowedDogs are not allowed inside the park section of the canyon (beyond the gate)
Locked gate at 14.5 milesLocked gate at the entry into the National park section
The only signThe only sign you will encounter is at the gate
White Desert PrimroseWhite Desert Primrose
Blooming cactusBlooming cactus
Anasazi ruinsAnasazi ruins
Anasazi ruin detailDetail of the ruins
Small arch Small arch in Upper Lavender Canyon
Cleft ArchCleft Arch and the main attraction of the Upper Lavender Canyon
And another archAnd another arch - I payed 1$ to my son for every arch he spotted
And a long way outLong sandy road out of the canyon
Six Shooter PeaksSouth Six Shooter peaks
2nd gateAn old corral and 2nd gate again

External Links

Lavender Canyon


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Viewing: 1-4 of 4

nader - May 16, 2011 10:53 am - Voted 10/10

I wondered too

I also wonered what was in Lavender Canyon. I had seen it on the map and often wondered if it was worth walking the road (very long hike I suppose).

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - May 16, 2011 11:02 am - Hasn't voted

Re: I wondered too

I would not hike it. It is very open, no water, very hot, and if windy - not a desirable place to be.
I did take my old car - just finished washing all the red dirt from it. I think the sand is not great for the car, would recommend to hire a rental car for this adventure.
It was interesting, but not that much that I would go there 2nd time.
Thanks for visiting.


Dean - May 16, 2011 11:54 am - Voted 10/10

Nice information

I enjoyed this one very much. I made my first trip to the Needles section of Canyonlands just last year and loved it.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - May 16, 2011 11:57 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice information

Thank you Dean. I am still working on this. It was interesting to go to a place with virtually no information about.

Viewing: 1-4 of 4