False Kiva Trail is a 1.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Moab, Utah that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Length1.9 miElevation gain426 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingViewsRockyScrambleOff trailNo shadeFeeNo dogs
Description
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Canyonlands National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $15 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. This short yet spectacular route takes you to False Kiva, a human-made stone circle situated perfectly at a natural alcove. This trail is not well maintained and involves some scrambling, but you will be rewarded with amazing views that capture the spirit of the Southwest. Canyonlands National Park has closed the alcove at the end of this trail due to vandalism. Please be respectful of this ancient site and do not attempt to enter.

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Reviews (267)
Photos (157)
Activities (216)
Completed (580)
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Juliet Falchi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 16, 2021
Hiking

Fantastic hidden gem! Nobody else on the trail. Some fun scrambling nothing difficult. Gorgeous views. Highly recommend .

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Anita Hunter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 15, 2021
Hiking

easy for the first 10th of a mile after that moderate but has some strenuous patches in it as well trail should be labeled as strenuous. has a section of loose gravel and rock for incline and decline. beautiful views.

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Fabian Moya
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 12, 2021
Hiking

Trail is open, access to an archeological site beyond the end of the trail as shown here is not allowed.

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Fab Z
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 26, 2021
HikingClosedRocky

Amazing! Trail isn’t marked well but small carins help along the way. Didn’t go all the way down to the kiva due to trail closure and steep grades, but definitely worth the view!

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Sam Unger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 24, 2021
Hiking

Definitely not for the beginner hiker. First 2/3 mile is a very simple stroll, but last 1/3 is a steep rock climb down and the back up on way out. 100% worth the view from the bottom though.

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Alexander Long
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Hiking
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Joseph Andrew
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HikingGreat!
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Elisa Maria Herrera Ligero
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Amazing trail with great views. A plus was the snow covering the canyon.

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F F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 12, 2021
HikingGreat!Scramble

Beautiful place, marred by the insensitivity of brainless visitors. Please stay on ONE narrow trail, and stay behind the fence. You can see everything just fine from there. Continued disrespect will lead to additional restrictions, and this is not a place that would benefit from the paved path we’re going to get if we can’t behave ourselves any better than this.

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Craig Plazure
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 24, 2020
Hiking

Had this one all to ourselves on Christmas Eve. Good conditions on the trail, no ice or snow but poles helped a lot on the downhill. We couldn’t figure out how to get up to the kiva itself, but still a nice morning hike and a decent workout. Great views.

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Neil Castelino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 20, 2020
HikingGreat!

This trail has amazing views of the Canyons and is beautiful when it snows. Just remember to go up at the end of the trail and don't continue down.

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J M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 6, 2020
Hiking

Awesome short guerilla trail! Parking is at the Alcove Spring Trailhead, about 200 yards north of a curve in the road lined with tree trunks to prevent parking. Start there and follow the footpath to the west. About 100 yards from the road is the only signage you'll see, stating the site is closed and not to pass the viewpoint. Don't be worried, the viewpoint is right next to the kiva. The trail starts to get into slickrock and turns into a fun challenge of paying attention to rock cairns. Not so poorly marked as to be onerous, but just tricky enough to require you to pay attention! A few spots require rock scrambling, but nothing should be dangerous unless perhaps surfaces are icy. Stunning views and solitude!

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Rachel Olson
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Hiking

This was enjoyable and not busy

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Luis ON
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 29, 2020
Hiking

Don’t pay attention to the comments here saying you’re too close to the edge of the canyon and there are drop offs and is not suitable for people scared of heights. You don’t get that close to the edge at any time. This trail should be rated as moderate imho. The only thing is at the very end you have to scramble rocks for like 15 mins, but if you’re in ok shape you should be fine. Breathtaking views. Majestic scenery. Rewarding like no other. One of my fav trails. 100% recommended. Just respect the Kiva!

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Melonee Wise
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 26, 2020
HikingGreat!

Nice trail, only hard to follow at the end of the trail. When you get to what looks like the end in GPS, you need to go up to the right. Don’t continue forward.

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Allison Cabalka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 20, 2020
HikingNo shadeScramble

Park at the pullout for Alcove springs and walk back to the “driftwood “ laid along west side of road-trail starts in the middle of that and is then easy to follow to the site-look for the cairns and stay left at the boulders beneath the site and work your way up-the trail is easier to spot on the way down!

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Courtney Klauck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 15, 2020
Hiking

First half of the hike was not strenuous at all, we didn’t realize it until we got to the viewpoint but you go downhill for the first half then have to hike back up! Short and hard, but worth it!

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Alan Griffith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 15, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

November 14, 2020. Wife and I, in our 50/60's had a wonderful hike down to the Kiva. Just keep stopping, looking ahead, finding and following the little rock cairns. It looks more ominous from afar than actually hiking to it. Hiking poles help with balance, especially if your enjoy continually looking at the incredible scenery. We had the entire place to ourselves on a Saturday afternoon in cool but not cold, sunny weather. The scenery is much more impressive than the Kiva itself. The signs and cables keeping us from actually entering the Kiva keeps you about 20 yds from the Kiva.

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Phil Oreste
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 11, 2020
Hiking

Quite a drop on this trail, but amazing views of the valley. Temperature much warmer which was nice on a 30 degree day. Not sure where the end is though as I did not see a sign to stop.

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Sarah Lads
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 5, 2020
HikingClosedNo shadeRockyScramble

This hike was not physically strenuous, but it has some exposure (and no shade!). It’s more of a rock scramble/steep trail about 10-20’ from a cliff edge for the second half of the hike. I did not attempt to go to to the alcove as it looked like a pretty narrow path up a steep, slippery old rock slide via a very thin/washed out section you have to go on first. I am slightly scared of heights, so just coming down the rocks to the flat part below the alcove was enough for me. However, my husband went further and agreed, the section leading up to the alcove looked a bit sketch so he did not go up. The archaeological site is closed (has been since 2018) and this trail is NOT maintained. I read another review below (after the fact) that there is maybe a better route to get to the actual False Kiva- we followed the cairns on the left down the rocks and it leaves you in a strange spot to get up to the alcove/ false kiva (maybe new trail set up by parks to keep people away from the false kiva?), or maybe it is the correct trail? Some people also noted they added some cairns along the way. So, the correct route is a bit unknown. It sounds like you can ask the park rangers for info and they can give it to you, it’s just not on the map. I wish we had done this! Regardless, I had the downloaded map and it wasn’t overly helpful once you scramble down the rocks. The trail is not super close to the edge or crazy technical, but you definitely need to be ok with rock scrambling and (ok-ish) with heights. The views were really beautiful, even with not going up to the alcove. Go for the trek up to the alcove if you are braver than me! Just make sure you look at the map/read other comments/talk to ranger to get a good idea of what you are actually looking for and where the end of the trail might be, I’m still not positive if we were on the correct one to be able to get to the alcove.

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Nina Hoang
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Hiking
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Ryan Evans
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 28, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

This trail is amazing and saw no other hikers (which is awesome). The park service does not have it marked on their maps, but if you download the trail map here before you go you’ll find the entrance without a problem. The trail is marked with cairns along the way, which can be a little challenging to find at times, but is kinda part of the fun. We made a few to help future hikers. But the views that this trail give you is AMAZING. Totally reccomend, however it is a bit challenging at the end. There’s a ton of rock scrambling and towards the end of the hike you can go off trail and scramble rocks for hours if you want. Loved this place.

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