False Kiva Trail

MODERATE 66 reviews
#3 of 63 trails in

False Kiva Trail is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Canyonlands, 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
436 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Island In The Sky District, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, United States False Kiva is a Class II archeological site located in an alcove in Canyonlands National Park. It's also known from the famous photograph by Wally Pacholka, showing the milky way in all it's glory. When you get there you'll be amazed by the silence of the alcove and the view ahead. You'll have a view on the Canyons and the Candlestick tower in the distance. The best time of day to photograph is late afternoon, certainly take a good hour to wait for the good light to drop.

8 days ago

Tricky to find but a short little jewel once you do

hiking
26 days ago

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.

26 days ago

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.

1 month ago

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
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

Excellent hike, even better view.

1 month ago

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!!

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike. It's not public on the park maps, nor is marked on the road, so it's almost like a private hike. We only ran into one other pair of hikers. The incline is a bit sudden and steep, with some moderate scrambling down the rocks but it's more than worth the effort. It got a bit confusing toward the end trying to find the kiva, but look up! You'll find a winding scramble down the rockslide. One of my all time favourite trails.

hiking
3 months ago

Make sure to follow the cairns closely.

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely amazing. Not a high traffic trail, which makes it even better!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike! The view was amazing and was a fav of ours on our trip. The trail is well marked, just pay attention to the cairns and you'll be good. The final ascent into alcove is a bit of a scramble but not too difficult, it looks harder than it is. We passed only two other groups of people while hiking. We had our five year old with us and she handled it well. Its a pretty short hike but you are fully exposed so be sure to bring water. If you have questions, ask one of the rangers.

hiking
5 months ago

The trail itself is nothing to write home about, but the views from the Kiva are AMAZING. If you're going for sunset, which I highly recommend, take mental notes of landmarks going in. The train in ease simple to follow, but coming out after sunset is slightly more challenging. even if you get off trail a bit, it's easy to navigate where the road is and get back on trail. This place has one of the best sunset's I've ever photographed but if you're serious about photographing it, bring a flash. The cave is set back too far to get enough light to compete with the sky. I cringed every time I pressed the shutter, but this is one of the few spots you'll see a landscape photographer with that goofy light on top of their camera.

hiking
5 months ago

lots of rock scrambling .. but so worth it. looks terrifying from a distance at some spots - but I promise it's not that thin of a walkway haha. sunrise hike and the silence was deafening

hiking
6 months ago

This was a good hike. Not too challenging, but fun anyway. It's not marked, so park at Alcove and walk back about 100 yards down the road. Cross the road and look for the twisted wood. Stay right and cross over the small canyon you come to. Again, stay right and begin your decent. At the bottom begin looking upward, you will see the trail. The reward is fantastic. We only saw 2 people the entire hike, solitude in a very crowded park! We spent about 40 minutes there, the views and serenity are unbelievable!

6 months ago

Nice trail. Unmarked path!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome hike and incredible views. The end was harder than I realized for my 4 and 7 year old kids with us. Lots of places to slip on the steep decline. We pushed through though and it will be a great memory. Just be careful if you take kids! It will definitely challenge them.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing hike and views. As a bonus we had it all to ourselves!

hiking
8 months ago

I can't say enough good things about this Trail. Big payoff at the end with an alcove that looks out over the canyons. The trail is interesting enough in and of itself with some scrambling and navigation challenges along the way. Follow the cairns. Keep an eye out for kids who may roam on their own ahead of you & make sure they are following the cairns as well. Our 6th grader strayed along the way. There's a spiritual feeling in the Kiva alcove that is unique, a hushed awe of what nature provides. If you start at the Alcove Springs pull out parking area and head back up the road on the right side (opposite side), you'll find the trail at the first bend in the road. It's not a guardrail per say, but instead crossed timber logs on the side of the road that serve as a barrier of sorts. The trail starts just on the other side of that. Enjoy and don't miss it.

hiking
8 months ago

Short but great hike!

9 months ago

Amazing hike. Definitely will be going back soon

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