Hike Lower Black Box Canyon

Rate this Adventure 38.965726,-110.470042

Distance

10 Miles

Elevation Gain

-300 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Loop

Added by

Travis Poulson

Groups
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

If you’re looking for the best all-day adventure in the San Rafael Swell, you just found it. Explore an exquisite slot canyon filled with swimming holes, bolder hopping, and breathtaking narrows.

It takes some commitment to get to the trailhead, but it’s worth it. After several dirt roads, follow a rocky 4X4 road for about 10 miles to the trailhead. Sunscreen up and walk down the path to an open wash. This wash runs into the San Rafael River. At the river, check the flow, it should be below 50 cfs for a safe adventure. Cross the river and follow the trail that takes you above the canyon heading upstream. Watch out for poison ivy!

After an hour to ninety minutes, you’ll come to Swasey’s Leap, a narrow gap above the canyon that legend says Sid Swasey jumped across on his horse. If true, he’s a brave soul. Make your way down to the river just above Swasey’s Leap and let the fun begin!

The next hour of canyon is sheer bliss: swims, boulder hopping and incredible narrows. Then the canyon widens and deepens. Enjoy the black varnished walls that give the canyon its name as you work your way back to the place where you crossed the river initially. When you smell sulfur seeps, you’re getting close.

Follow the path back up to your vehicle and take a well-deserved break. You conquered a small part of the San Rafael and earned some serious bragging rights. The entire adventure will take 7-9 hours.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $199/night

Under Canvas Moab

Moab, Utah

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Distance

10 Miles

Elevation Gain

-300 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Loop

Added by

Travis Poulson

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Canyoneering the San Rafael Swell

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