Explore springbreak - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

springbreak Map
off road driving
9 days ago

We were able to drive all the way back to the highway and even under the highway bridge (tunnel), however soon after that the sand was deep, so we turned around as our vehicle was not high enough. As it was getting dark, we went back on the highway. From i70 west, we stopped on the shoulder and drove until we could see the arch. It is possible to see it from the highway if you know where to look.

off road driving
23 days ago

Absolutely stunning. Wow. National park beauty with absolutely no one around. Definitely worth the drive although let’s not make it too crowded!!

scenic driving
23 days ago

Absolutely amazing. National park quality view with absolutely no one else. Just stunning.

7 months ago

Great hike. Definitely had to work for it in August heat, but seeing the Great Gallery made it all worth it. Lots of other petroglyphs and very few people. Highly recommend.

scenic driving
7 months ago

This drive was fantastic! The variety of rock formations, colors and vast scenery are well worth the drive. Roads are well maintained but we could see deeper tracks from when it was muddy. We traveled this trail to the wedge overlook which is highly recommended! There are several other sightseeing attractions along this road.

This is a long scenic drive worth every minute! Scenery changes as you travel with many different colors. Tan and grey, Bright green and purple reds. Follow the sign to wedge overlook and then stay left. We took a wrong turn and ended up at a way station which has several well-done posters. Even got to see some cowboys herding the cattle scattered about on the plain. Just awesome! The ground finally gave way to a spectacular canyon that is indeed Grand and earns its name as the "little Grand Canyon".

Closed- website said open

off road driving
11 months ago

Tried to find, traveled the whole distance but the last mile or so. The roads from Sinbad to the lone warrior must be reclaimed. It does not exist as shown on the map. Hunted for it but could not find.

You can drive the road up to I-70 then must hike back unless you have a high clearance 4 wheel drive.
I hiked the trail but could not find Sinbad. Will return when I have more detailed info and try again. The instructions are not sufficient to lead to the rock art.

So beautiful. Always will be one of my favorite places in my childhood! Worth to go see!

We just make it this weekend, it's very beautiful and hard. The trailhead marked here actually is about 1.5-2 miles to the parking lot. And the road from freeway to parking lot is a bit tough, SUV is recommended, although I see several full size cars also make it, I won't try that. There are several good camping sites down in the canyon. We cannot make it to the Colorado river nor Young Canyon, it will take some time to look for the best trail, be prepared for that.

mountain biking
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Great intermediate bike trail! No climbing, not too steep and not too technical!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Crack Canyon

Friday, August 05, 2016

First time in the Swell. Loved the views and loved the hike. I will be exploring this area.

Friday, July 29, 2016

gorgeous, huge canyon nicknamed "Little Grand Canyon". trail is flat and is right along the edge of the canyon rim. no shade. photographers dream canvas! went 3 times in 2 weeks with differeng people. had to share. very few know about it so you'll have it to yourself most likely.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Kinf of off the beaten path, but once you'tr here, you might as well slow down and make an afternoon of it. Interesting, but hot

I would say this was easier than moderate. My 7 and 4 year old boys did it without trouble as it was less than a mile round trip. They loved climbing the rocks at the end and thought the rock art was cool. Such a great little hike with a great reward at the end!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

good but hot

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fun! Really beautiful! Really simple, could have used rope in a few places to climb down/up but not necessary.

This was a great little hike with amazing native rock writings at the end. I loved ho close we could get to the writings. Pretty drive to the park

Sunday, April 03, 2016

It's was a really fun hike. Lots of pictographs to view and flat hiking. The sand hiking does wear on your legs. The hike out is 750' up in about a half mile.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hiked this peak in high winds and hail around mid September. We were shrouded in the clouds for most of the hike too. Weather can appear and disappear fast. The trail unfortunately is mainly on the windy side of the mountain most of the way up, but it's a great hike with majestic views all round!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Nice hike! We did at dusk in mid June when the temps came down.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Such a fun place to explore, although I didn't do the full 32 miles my group did Crack canyon. Fun day hike with lots to see. Wild flower were starting to bloom and it made the sanding grounds colorful and full of life. Nice place for pictures. Make sure you have a 4 wheel drive car/truck it gets bumping.

off road driving
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Was with the Northern Utah ATV club and this was one of the trails we rode. Got to walk through this cabin and cool off for a minute.

Amazing experience! Happy I went. I hiked around Mexican Mountain and some of the washes out there.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nice easy hike great for the whole family. We really enjoy coming here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The San Rafael River Gorge is a desert river that winds through the northern section of the San Rafael Swell in southern Utah. The river runs through the gorge from west to east, and so most people follow the current by entering from Fuller Bottom in the west, and exiting at Buckhorn Wash in the east. This requires bringing an extra car and leaving it at one end or the other.

We decided to drive together and do an out-and-back, with the Virgin Spring as our destination. This is right about half way through the gorge and is arguably the most scenic area of the canyon.

At the beginning of the hike, from Fuller Bottom, theres no clear trail - just a series of cow paths. As long as youre generally following the river, youre going the right direction. Its not until a couple of miles in that the cow trails start to converge into a single clear trail.

It starts in a wide valley floor covered in Tamarisk trees. This was a really slow painstaking part of the trek, as most of the way you have to just kind of bulldoze through the low branches. Theres an alternative way to get past this, which we took on the way back. More on this later.

After a while, the trail becomes more obvious, and leads through the canyon in a pleasant meandering path. There are several places where crossing the river becomes necessary. In fact, at my count, we had to cross the river fourteen times. The first two times, we took off our boots and socks, walked across slowly and carefully, then sat at the other end and got boots back on. Eventually, we realized this wasnt going to be tenable, and resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to be wet the whole time. After making this decision, the river crossings went a lot faster, and enjoyable. Albeit at the risk of blisters, if youre not wearing a good pair of socks in your boot.

The trail is very flat, with a hardly noticeable decline downstream. Make sure to not just stare at your boots the whole time, as the canyon walls are rife with interesting geology. We had more than one break where we sat and tried to puzzle how in the world some of these anomalous formations came to be.

Your experience in the canyon may be drastically different, depending on the level of the water in the river. When we went, the water was moving at a mere 21 CFS (cubic feet per second). Even at this low flow, there were some fords which came waist high. When the river is over 150 CFS (not an uncommon occurrence), you may consider floating the river in a raft, as walking through it will require holding your pack over your head.

There is some danger of flash flooding if there is any rain nearby. There are many waters that feed into this canyon - dark skies in any surrounding area can have a major effect on the state of the canyon. Before you go, make sure to call the local BLM office at (435) 636-3600 and check on the CFS of the river, and plan accordingly. Because its BLM land, you can camp pretty much anywhere you want, and fires are allowed in the canyon (please disperse your fire ring when you leave).

After 7 or 8 miles, youll reach the confluence with the Virgin Spring Canyon. There are a handful of decent campgrounds in that area. I would highly recommend taking a side trip up this canyon. About a hundred yards up this canyon, on the right side wall - about 15 feet up - is a stunningly preserved panel of Indian pictographs depicting deer hunting. Another quarter mile or so will bring you to the Virgin Spring. Its a small pool of fresh water that is a perfect place to pull out your filter and fill up your water bladder/bottle. There are a number of good campsites in this small canyon, one of which we stayed in. There are incredibly picturesque panoramas here.

We took a slightly different route back thats worth mentioning. Having braved the Tamarisk trees covering the valley floor near the beginning of the hike, we decided we had had enough of them scratching and poking our arms and packs. About 3/4 of the way back (see our track for the exact location), we opted to take a trail straight west, away from the river, and followed Dutch Flat Road for the remainder of the trip, which meets up with Fuller Bottom road, and took us right back to the car at the trailhead. This route was much less interesting, and consisted of following an exposed dusty dirt road, but spared us the frustration of boring a trail through the Tamarisk trees.

Other than the treacherous beginning of the hike, this was a fantastic trek that I would love to do again someday. Most people are drawn to the various nearby national parks and dont give San Rafael Swell a chance. This is a blessing in a way, as you can go long stretches without seeing another person. Next time Im in the area, Id leave a shuttle car at the east end, and go through the entire canyon.

For more hike reviews, go to MtnGeeks.com

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Brought my children here and hiked the trail with them. Liked being close to the fossils

off road driving
Monday, April 15, 2013

At the end of this trail, you overlook the San Rafael River. Sometimes referred to as the 'Grand Canyon of Utah'.

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