Explore Ancient Ruins in Grand Gulch

Kane Gulch Trailhead

Remote slot canyons with ancient petroglyphs, pictographs, and pottery.Easy accessible while still feeling remote.Former home of the ancient Pueblo Indians.33-mile backpacking trip that takes three to four days.

There are a number of trailheads to enter the Gulch, as well as a countless number of side canyons with hidden artifacts and ancient art scattered everywhere. The best place to start is at Kane Trailhead and heading out to Bullet Trailhead. You will start on the plateau, which doesn't look like much, but you'll soon drop into the canyons and find them full of life.

Camping and water can be extremely scarce here, so always have a map and consult with the Kane Gulch ranger station before heading in. They will give the most up-to-date locations of water sources as well as camping spots.

Be sure to check out Junction, Turkey Pen, and Split Level Ruins. Todie Canyon has good camping and usually has water.

This landscape is extremely unique. After getting familiar with the terrain, backpack into Collins and head south all the way to the San Juan River for remote, almost otherworldly, terrain and atmosphere.

Permits are required for hiking and backpacking in the canyons of Cedar Mesa, including Grand Gulch. Day use permits may be obtained at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station or at trailheads. During the spring and fall, overnight backpacking permits are only available at the ranger station, and must be obtained on the morning of the trip. They may be reserved up to 90 days in advance by calling 435-587-1510. During other seasons, these permits may be obtained from the Monticello Field Office. GPS coordinates of Kane Gulch Ranger station are N37.52444° W109.89902°

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Extremely good water filter (must be able to handle a high level of sediment) and a backup filter
  • First Aid kit
  • Sleeping pad
  • Backpacking stove
  • Map (GPS doesnt always work here)
  • All additional backpacking gear
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Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Autumn


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Water can be hard to find. Because of flooding, watch out for debris and wasted out trails.

Love this hike, did a three day expedition in September and loved it! Though because of flooding, a lot of the trails were washed out and there was a lot of debris. Make sure you bring pants or high soxs with guards or risk your shins! Also mind the Crypto ;)

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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