Explore the most popular birding trails near Green River with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Crack canyon is such a unique slot canyon. Crack Canyon in the San Rafael Swell is such a fun diverse slot canyon.  It is so worth the drive down to Southern Utah to see it, but let me give you some hints to have a successful trip.

First, while you are at home, search for Crack Canyon Trailhead.  Then at the top left click on the 3 lines and go to offline maps.  Retype in Crack Canyon San Rafael Swell if it doesn't come up and download the map.  Do this for ANY and ALL areas you want to hike in the San Rafael, for when you get there you will not have any service, but if you have a downloaded map your mapping software will still work.  San Rafael is about 30 minutes southwest of Green River West of Goblin Valley State Park.  It is BLM land so there are lots of places to camp, there are some bathrooms in a few spots, and the roads while dirt are not bad dirt roads.  

Second, After you get to the trailhead make sure you save your parking spot.  The trail is super easy to follow and difficult to get lost while you are in the Slot Canyon, but from the Parking area to the start of the slot there are a few roads going different ways, so saving your parking area will help you get back that last little bit.

Third.  There are a few spots where they are a little tricky getting down.  Don't go down unless you can get back up.  There was a couple that got to one of the spots with the 2 logs and decided they could not get down or up that easily, but there was actually 2 other spots in that area that were easier to get down and up.  If you want to make it to the end of the trail, you might want to take a quick class on using a rope to get up and down a long 10-15 foot drops so you can get into the last 1/8 of the hike.    
 Fourth - of course take plenty of water!
For a cool 360 Sphere virtual hike and more cool pictures and videos you can check the link below.
https://shaunasadventures.blogspot.com/2018/06/360-adventure-crack-canyon-san-rafael.html?m=0

backpacking
20 days ago

We did the Crack Canyon to Chute canyon loop over 2 days/1 night over Memorial Day weekend. It was an amazing two days. While in the canyons (away from the trailhead) we didn’t see a single other person. Only a bit of scat from horses, what seemed to be cows, and possibly pronghorns (didn’t actually see any of these animals, though). Crack Canyon was really fun and rewarding - lots of great views, shade-providing and satisfying canyons, and a few more technical drops. We were 2 adults and a 40-lb dog and brought 4 gallons of water, which was exactly perfect for 2 days/1 night. We don’t have technical canyoneering experience and didn’t bring technical gear; just our backpacking packs and camping gear. There was one pool of water that was approximately 3 ft deep in Crack Canyon. We didn’t see a way around so waded through, which was fine and actually sort of refreshing. As stated in other reviews, the trail connecting Crack and Chute is very unreliable. I recommend reading all the descriptions on Summit Post and bringing a compass - GPS if you have one. We unfortunately got that point from 1-3 pm: it takes you above the canyon where there is no protection from the sun. We used the descriptions and headed southwest on trails as much as possible and eventually found the side wash. All told, the connection took us about 2 hours. We made camp in Chute Canyon under a tree, which was incredible. The walk out of Chute Canyon felt like an easy, well-deserved stroll after the previous day. The 2.5 miles on the road from the Chute TH to the Crack TH was a bit of a trudge, but took us less than an hour so no big deal. Would HIGHLY recommend this loop. It was amazing.

backpacking
20 days ago

We did the Crack Canyon to Chute canyon loop over 2 days/1 night over Memorial Day weekend. It was an amazing two days. While in the canyons (away from the trailhead) we didn’t see a single other person. Only a bit of scat from horses, what seemed to be cows, and possibly pronghorns (didn’t actually see any of these animals, though). Crack Canyon was really fun and rewarding - lots of great views, shade-providing and satisfying canyons, and a few more technical drops. We were 2 adults and a 40-lb dog and brought 4 gallons of water, which was exactly perfect for 2 days/1 night. We don’t have technical canyoneering experience and didn’t bring technical gear; just our backpacking packs and camping gear. There was one pool of water that was approximately 3 ft deep in Crack Canyon. We didn’t see a way around so waded through, which was fine and actually sort of refreshing. As stated in other reviews, the trail connecting Crack and Chute is very unreliable. I recommend reading all the descriptions on Summit Post and bringing a compass - GPS if you have one. We unfortunately got that point from 1-3 pm: it takes you above the canyon where there is no protection from the sun. We used the descriptions and headed southwest on trails as much as possible and eventually found the side wash. All told, the connection took us about 2 hours. We made camp in Chute Canyon under a tree, which was incredible. The walk out of Chute Canyon felt like an easy, well-deserved stroll after the previous day. The 2.5 miles on the road from the Chute TH to the Crack TH was a bit of a trudge, but took us less than an hour so no big deal. Would HIGHLY recommend this loop. It was amazing.

The kids loved this trail! Especially the scrambling required to get down into the "lair". The cavern is beautiful mid-day with the light shining through!

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a bit of a drive to get to the trailhead, but well worth the effort. You’ll pass the trailhead (sign) for the Crack Canyon hike first, then about 2 miles later come to a small parking area and trailhead signs for Chute Canyon as well as the Behind the Reef Trail. Do recommend at least a high clearance vehicle, the dirt road is rough in some areas.

To start the Chute Canyon trail, walk a short distance down the road and enter the wash on your right, then just follow the wash. We hiked about 5 miles down the wash, and around 4.5 miles down you’ll see a sign on your right that has a small sign attached indicating that you can get to Crack Canyon by going 2 miles to the left. We just continued down the wash for a bit and saw some pronghorn. Didn’t make it to the end, but loved the hike. Towering canyon walls all around.

Didn’t see anyone else on the trail, but did see “evidence” of horses ;-)

Very satisfying hike. Going inside the cavern is easy. Take 2 sources of light if you want to go deeper in the crawlspace under the cavern. Don't do this if there's any chance of rain. That's where the rain water goes, you'll pretty much die. :)

Super easy. Cool arch!

Short and sweet. Photogenic.

hiking
1 month ago

Special place, short modest hike, easy to find the way back, destination is a special and unique scenic area with Indian art as a bonus. It is a must when near Goblin State Park. I would rate it very doable for most kids.

hiking
2 months ago

This is an easy out and back hike. This is not a slot canyon per se, but it does get fairly narrow in sections. Beautiful scenery. Encountered only 5 people on horseback during the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

A great little hike for the whole family !

Remote and gorgeous! I would say intermediate rather than difficult/hard. Although the last mile back out was steep! I would definitely hike this again!

I am giving this 4 stars, but only to create this post. Be forewarned, the gravel access road is susceptible to sand dunes on windy days. You should assume you need a high clearance four-wheel drive or you may not get through. We were driving an AWD Honda CRV and had to turn around after 20 miles. There are signs warning of this, just know it could be true! The dunes are cleared with a road grader, so it can be a matter of timing.

hiking
3 months ago

Great and easy hike.

hiking
3 months ago

A little difficult to find the “path”. But we made our own.

It was so beautiful and the “Window” was unlike anything I’ve ever seen!

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike that is worth it at the end. Beware though - the trail is really hard to find, nonexistent if anything and I got lost in the swell at least 2-3 times making this more of a "moderate to difficult" hike versus "easy" on the way back I found the "easy" route that I'd classify as more "moderate" due to having to scramble in a few places.

I hiked with my lab (large dog, about 70lbs) that I had to help on/off steep places so I'd recommend the dog wearing a harness if you bring them. Lots of little pools of water in the swell for her to jump in and cool off for a drink.

The trailhead is also kind of hard to find, there's lots of "unsigned dirt roads" in this area, so just follow google maps and try to find the one that heads closest to the gps coordinates. Also not much cell service so have the coordinates keyed up before you lose signal.

hiking
4 months ago

We left early enough in the morning that there were hardly any others on the trail with us. Beautiful landscape and the cave at the end kept the kids engaged for a good hour. Such a beautiful place to see for it being mid February.

We got to the arch at dark. I really liked this arch and actually thought this would be more boring than tunnel arch. I found tunnel arch less exciting than pine tree. Hope to go back in the daylight someday.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike! I agree with others, that winter is the best time to visit. The weather is cooler and there are no crowds. We took two dogs on this hike, they loved it. They did not go all way to the bottom of the chamber, but were able to scramble up the rocks with human assistance.

Did this on the way to landscape arch. Worth the side hike!

snow covered trail December 29 but short easy fun hike with the family

A bit of a short hike but beautiful. Winter is the best time to go!

Easy path on a sidewalk the whole way. Steep sidewalk to get down to it, so caution to anyone who might have difficulties with that.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

I enjoyed the quiet lair more than the valley of hoodoos simply because of the amount of kids running around yelling and climbing on everything. After the lair I look the Carmel Canyon side trail then back to the road.

Do this hike, along with “Tunnel Arch” and “Landscape Arch” all together. It’s 500 yards from Tunnel Arch so that one is a no-brainer. Landscape Arch is another mile and a half os something, but still, def do it.

Easy trail with good access to the arch itself and tunnel arch trail to the right (just after trailhead)

hiking
8 months ago

Easy hike, I took 5 children ages 2-13 and the kids loved it.

We did Pine Tree, Tunnel, and Landscape Arch all at once. It is a very easy trail, but I became overheated quickly. Bring lots of water and wear a hat. Don't underestimate the Moab sun. It wasn't too crowded for an August weekend.

hiking
10 months ago

the loop does NOT take you to the Lair!! if you are ONLY going to the lair; take the trail UP and to the left. The trail to the right and down will take you straight into the goblin valley; with no way to see the lair without starting over. THERE IS NO SHADE!! bring tons of water & sunscreen. LAST CLIMB UP A MOUNTAIN TO THE LAIR IS HARD, BUT WORTH IT. we suggest going to both parts of the park; but do it EARLY.

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