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False Kiva Trail

MODERATE 133 reviews
#3 of 68 trails in

False Kiva Trail is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Moab, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
1.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
449 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

off trail

no dogs

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. PLEASE NOTE: This strenuous and unmarked trail is not easily accessible nor maintained by the National Park Service. False Kiva is a Class II archeological site. PLEASE BE AWARE: Any graffiti, trash and or damage to the ancestral Puebloan ruins is a federal offense and violators will be prosecuted.

hiking
9 days ago

Excellent hike, my favorite in Canyonlands. The trail is open, the only part "closed" is that there is a rope right next to the stone circle "stopping" people from entering/damaging the site (which only a complete, !@#$%^& would damage an archaeological site).

Like others have stated it is not very well marked but there are cairns along the way if you look close. Having said that, there are several stretches where the cairns are sparse. Take your time and you should find the trail. The only other advice I would give is to keep walking and bear right when you no longer see the cairns.

Well worth the hike. The view is spectacular and it is an archeological site.

1 month ago

Amazing views. Well worth the small scrambles to get there. Best hike so far in Canyonlands!

nature trips
1 month ago

Loved this trail! Beautiful views & a fun, challenging climb in parts.

hiking
2 months ago

This place/hike is amazing. I actually did this back in 2015. I had to follow a blog post someone had posted on the directions to the false kiva but that made it more fun. It was like a scavenger hunt! There are some loose rocks on the trail so be careful and wear proper footwear. But the views are stunning and the whole hike was so awesome. My husband was so happy that I took him there. What an amazing experience.

5 months ago

Awesome, more "secret" hike in canyonlands.
It's a steep climb in and out, but the views are awesome! The kiva is currently roped off, but you can get close to it. It's a bummer someone ruined the experience for the rest of us by vandalizing it.

Be sure to read the brochures in the guestbook box about archeological site protection. Respecting the trails and sites are key to being able to enjoy these hikes for years to come!

hiking
5 months ago

me and a buddy did this trail and the views are Absolutely beautiful. the kiva itself is still roped off but the views are well worth the hike. we were the only 2 on the trail and at the end it became hard to see the next carine but if you look hard enough you won't have a issue.

5 months ago

I'm not sure why this is rated difficult. Fairly easy hike that was a little difficult to find. There are a few spots you do some light bouldering.

5 months ago

Ok so first off, the views were outstanding and totally worth our experience on the trail. Another review gave us the directions to the trail head- parking at the alcove parking lot and walking back up the road to the section of logs. The trails begins directly behind the logs. Follow the path all the way to the sign that enforces no vandalizing the kiva. From there there will be cairns guiding the way. We had a hard time finding some of the cairns but overall they were extremely helpful. The only misleading thing was there were cairns going past the kiva all the way around the other cliff side. We weren’t paying close enough attention, missed the kiva, and kept walking around the cliff side assuming we still had further to go. Once we reached the other end of the cliff the sun was setting and WOW. The views from that side were just amazing. On our way back down the cliff side we found the kiva and realized where we messed up. But by this time there was no daylight left and we somehow got off trail sending us down the cliff side on scrambling rocks and dirt. It was extremely scary. I’m only saying all of this because I don’t want someone else to make the same mistake and end up out there after dark unprepared (as we were).

5 months ago

A favorite! The views don’t get any better and the kiva is great to see. Just don’t miss the fork in the trail to get up to it.

hiking
6 months ago

One of my favorite hikes, it really is an incredible view!! Trail is not closed, just the alcove is closed off currently (Sept 2018)

7 months ago

This is a great and rewarding hike for those visiting the Islands in the Sky part of Canyonlands NP. The trail is easier to follow than some suggest, and park staff was helpful in pointing out where to access. It was one of our favorites at the park. The combination of good views, history, and slight challenge makes this a fun trip for a short hike.

walking
8 months ago

We walked this trail today (sat, 21/7/2018) This trail is def not closed. However that historic side can’t be accessed due to earlier vandalism. However the viewpoint is still accessible and you can stand a few meters from the historic site.

And it’s all worthwhile, amazing trail/walk!

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome hike with breathtaking canyon views! We've hiked in Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Arches, and this hike tops them all. The final scramble up loose rocks is challenging but worth it. We relaxed in the alcove and took in the views.

hiking
9 months ago

By far the best hike I’ve done in Canyonlands National Park! Park at Alcove parking lot and walk back about 200 meters to the logs. As you park at Alcove and walk back up the road, the logs will be on the right-hand side of the road. Be sure to notice that the trail path can be more easily identified at THE END part of the logs AS you’re walking up the road from the Alcove parking lot. Follow the cairns from there to the Kiva. Please respect the preserved site on the inner part of the Kiva. The views will totally make the hike worth it.

hiking
9 months ago

If it weren't for this App, I'd never had known this trail existed!! We hiked it on 4-3-18. It was so hard to find off the road, but we parked in the Alcove Springs trailhead and luckily found some people who were just returning from this hike and told us where to start. And cell service is very spotty, don't plan to have it at all. You will need to cross the road and head south and you will see the well worn path...carins mark the way from there. Another thing, once you get to the cliff side and it seems the trail dead ends, look behind you and up. We saw people way off trail and no where near the Kiva as they didn't notice the 180 and kept going straight. It's quite the view and well worth the effort to try and find it!!

10 months ago

Trail head is not marked. I drove by it a couple times. Park your car near the logs and walk to it. Trail is well marked once you get going. It’s basically all downhill. I followed All Trails and it looked like I went too far to get to the Kiva but I didn’t. Follow the person’s comments in the review below. Pass the tree hanging on the side of the mountain and there is a switchback. Great views. Probably wouldn’t do it again but liked the hike.

hiking
11 months ago

Trailhead begins further back on the road from the parking spaces. You’ll see it covered over with piles of logs on the side of the road. Trail is mostly exposed to sun until you get to the overhang with the kiva. There isn’t really scrambling involved, just a couple of steep spots that could be slick in the event of rain. The cairns are easy to follow and the view is worthy of a long sit. It seems like this is a popular place for sunset photographers (we saw at least 5 professional cameras set up), so be ready to share the space.

11 months ago

We saw four people the entire time. Amazing view! Challenging hike for kids (we had a 6 and 9 year old) but they felt great after they accomplished it.

11 months ago

absolutely incredible! one of my favorite hikes. Make sure to take a GPS or have this downloaded onto your phone.. very hard to find the trail and stay on it! also a helpful tip, every 50 feet or so there are stacked rocks to mark the trail

hiking
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Took a guided hike with a park ranger. He explained the historic significance of the site, and the NPS efforts to preserve it. Please be respectful while at False Kiva and stay off the structures. The walk up is quite strenuous, on eroding thin switchbacks going up and down, but views and shade at False Kiva are beyond worth the trek. Highly recommend, with caution! Hike is unmarked, and could easily be lost.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Scroll down in the reviews for advice on locating the trail head, once found it’s a very well marked trail and not as scary as it’s made out to be whatsoever. Absolutely stunning views!

hiking
Friday, March 09, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

What can I say but wow. Went by myself so didn’t stay for sunset. Got a great corona of sun as setting below roof of kiva. Moderate scrambling. Views are other worldly. Lots of payback for the effort!

Friday, December 08, 2017

Tricky to find but a short little jewel once you do

hiking
Monday, November 20, 2017

Fairly easy hike until you get to the end, and then is just a little tricky in route finding. I never had to scramble or use my hands to climb at all, and would definitely not classify this as strenuous or hard. Once you see the Kiva, you'll completely pass underneath it -- keep going! Once you go along the edge beneath and pass a tree right on the edge, you'll see a switchback just ahead heading up and back. Take this up and you've made it. Will definitely be doing it again for sunset sometime soon.

Monday, November 20, 2017

It is pretty easy until the end as it becomes rocky and you must climb a little. Our family of 5 completed it quickly though. Insanely beautiful view the entire hike.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Amazing hike but I would rate it as hard. Pretty steep and quite a few rock crawl sections. Also if you have any sort of fear of heights it may not be the hike for you. I loved it and when you arrive at the kiva it is a magnificent view and very gratifying.

hiking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

Great hike with amazing views! The start of the trail was a bit hard to find. Once you park, cross the street and walk back up the street to find the head of the trail. No markers so just follow the map and the foot path.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Excellent hike, even better view.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Great hike! We went at sunset and hiked back after dark (trail was not difficult on the return with a headlamp). The trail is well marked except towards the end. You descend below the Kiva first then up some switchbacks so if you descend and don't see markers turn around and look up, you'll see the markers and the trail. It was beautiful at sunset. We took a time lapse video of the sun setting. The views were amazing!!

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