Page Type Page Type: Canyon
Location Lat/Lon: 38.66100°N / 109.3222°W
Activities Activities: Hiking, Canyoneering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Sign the Climber's Log


An obstacle on the Professor...Obstacle in Professor Creek

Imagine this: Climbing, scrambling, canyoneering, sitting under the cool shade of cottonwood trees, walking through the burning desert, and visiting a (natural) water park, all in the same day. For even more action, you can combine Professor Creek with climbing Adobe Mesa.

The suggested route will begin at Professor Creek, route find through a colorful, but hot desert, surrounded by many incredible towers, and descend through narrows of the canyon laced with waterfalls, slippery slides, and wading and swim holes, and back to the trailhead.

Getting There

View from the trailhead....View from the trailhead. Castle Rock (left) and the Priest (far right)

Drive along State Highway 128 north from Moab or south from Cisco to the Professor Creek Road between mile markers 18 and 19. The gravel road branches south from the highway and is marked "Ranch Road-Dead End". Drive the Professor Creek Road to its end and park. The gravel road is about two miles long and is good for all vehicles.

Routes Overview

The huge chockstone is a...Chockstone in a side canyon

This is a wet hike, so be sure to stop and pack everything in dry bags. There is much wading. There is one bolted rap and several natural water-slides you must slide down and into pools. Prepare to get completely soaked! The final obstacle, and the crux of the trip is a 30 foot rap through through the waterfall. You will get soaked, and setting up the rap is very tricky. Make sure you learn natural anchors, and please don't leave and slings or bolts that are visible from below.


If you're up to it, you can climb Adobe Mesa on the same trip. This will be a very long day-trip. You can also just hike Professor Creek from the bottom, or go all the way through the technical section without climbing Adobe Mesa.


Equipment Needed

A necessary piece of...Make sure to take dry bags to keep you gear dry.

If you plan on taking the alternate technical descent of Professor Creek, take a climbing harness, rack, several various lengths of slings, a 100 foot rope, and dry bags.

Red Tape

The trailhead has been closed to camping. Other than that, there is no red tape.

When to Climb

Gulch below the chockstone.Side gulch
Have you ever gotten this wet...Getting soaked in Professor Creek.

For Professor Creek, late April through October is usually good. If it is too cold, wading in the water is unpleasant. The approach hike can be very hot in summer, so do it in the morning.

If you want to combine Adobe Mesa with Professor Creek, then May, September, and October are the best months. Walking through the desert is extremely hot in the summer, but you still want fairly warm weather since you will get completely soaked in Professor Creek and rappeling through the waterfalls.


Even though the trailhead is on public land, the nearby ranch has been successful in closing the area to camping by the BLM. The supposed reason is because of beer parties during the Moab Jeep Safari and Spring Break. There are many designated campsites along Onion Creek. The turnoff to Onion Creek is just south of mile marker 21 on Highway 128 and is only a few miles from Professor Creek.

Canyon Conditions

This is not your every-day...Professor Creek is a nice place to cool off in the hot desert summers.

For current road, camping, and trail conditions, contact:

Bureau of Land Management
Moab Field Office
82 East Dogwood
Moab, UT 84532


Weather and climate data for the Cisco/Dewey Bridge is below. *National Weather Service Data 1952-2004.




Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.