Long Canyon Road

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Utah, United States, North America

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Long Canyon Road
Created On: Jun 1, 2014
Last Edited On: Oct 26, 2017


This is not a hiking trail. It is a four wheel drive road. It is close to but falls outside the boundaries of Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Long Canyon is a 7.5 mile long 4 wheel drive road that goes from the banks of Colorado River on Route 279, 1900 vertical feet up to the top of Island in the Sky/Dead Horse Point Mesa where Route 313 runs. The western 3 miles of the road travel over the flat top of the mesa and will not be discussed here. The eastern 4.5 miles have all the uphill and provide you with spectacular views of the nearby canyons and La Sal Mountains. Jug Handle Arch is visible at the start of the road. Along the way, the road takes you under a huge boulder that has fallen over the road creating a mini tunnel. Once you reach the top of the mesa, you can walk through a campground to reach the edge of the mesa to get fantastic views.

I hiked the road on a Wednesday in early April and saw only a few vehicles. Depending on when you hike, you may have to put up with the noise and dust of four wheel drive vehicles.

Long Canyon MapMap

Getting There

From the junction of Routes 191 and 279 a few miles north of Moab, Utah, turn west and drive 13 miles on Route 279 until you see a sign for Jug Handle Arch on the right. This is the start of Long Canyon Road. There is plenty of space to park.

Hike Statistics

All distances are per my GPS

Jug Handle Trailhead on Route 279
3950 ft
zero miles
Top of Plateau
5860 ft
4.20 miles
View Point
5840 ft
0.20 miles
8.80 miles

The Hike

Jug Handle Arch is visible at the start of the hike.

Jug Handle ArchJug Handle Arch

The first 1.25 miles of the road is gently sloped.

Start of Long canyon Rd on Route 279

Lower parts of Long canyon Road

Lower parts of Long Canyon Road

Lower parts of Long Canyon Road

Lower parts of Long Canyon Road

Lower parts of Long Canyon Road

Lower parts of Long Canyon Road

As you go higher, La Sal Mountains come to view behind you to the east.

La Sal MountainsLa Sal Mountains

The road then starts to make twists and turns going up more steeply.

Mid parts of Long Canyon Road

Mid parts of Long Canyon Road

You can then look back and get a good view of Long Canyon and where you started.

Long CanyonLong Canyon

Soon you will find yourself at the base of a number of impressive fins and towers.

Upper parts of Long Canyon Road

Upper parts of Long Canyon Road

Upper parts of Long Canyon Road

The road then takes you under a big boulder.

Tunnel under boulder

Tunnel under boulder

Farther up, you go through a tight area known as Pucker Pass.

Pucker PassPucker Pass

After another turn you will reach the top of the plateau.

Top of PlateauTop of plateau

Leave the road, turn left and go into a camp area. Keep going until you reach a slickrock peninsula.

Camp area near the edge of plateauCamp area

Slickrock PenninsulaSlickrock penninsula

Views from the tip of the peninsula.

La Sal MountainsLa Sal Mountains

La Sal MountainsSouth Mountain

From the edge of plateau

Looking down at the fin and the roadThe fin and road below

Looking south at the plateauLooking south

Looking northeastLooking northeast

Long CanyonLong Canyon, Colorado River

Zoomed view of Mt. TukuhnikivatzZoomed view of Mt. Tukuhnikivatz

Zoomed view of the badlands west of MoabZoomed view of badlands to the west of Moab

Looking northLooking north