San Rafael Swell, Utah
Deep Canyons, Pictographs, Tunnels, Little Grand Canyon
Yes on a leash
Pack your own
No shade. Come prepared with sunscreen.
Dirt Roads suitable to most vehicles under good conditions
A few outhouses along the route
I-70 Exit:38.88351N, 110.65489W
Buckhorn Wash Entrance:39.08277N, 110.66485W
Wedge Turnoff:39.16821N, 110.75536W
Little Grand Picnic Area:39.09296N, 110.75866W
Wedge Overlook:39.09631N, 110.74969W
This is a great day trip or even a half day trip. The road is open to all vehicles. It is popular with ATV’s but we did it in a truck. This could be done in most any car if the conditions are good. It can get very muddy so plan accordingly. This area is open year round but is prone to weather extremes. It can get very cold and slick in winter and VERY hot in summer. Whatever time you visit please bring everything to be prepared. This is a very remote area that is not to be treated lightly but it can be an amazing time! We started this trail from I-70 near Green River but it can also be done in reverse starting in the town of Cleveland near Price. As you exit the freeway the terrain is very open but the large cliffs of Buckhorn Wash soon come into view.
You will soon cross over the San Rafael River where there is a nice campground.
Just after this you will enter into the deep wash. The main attraction inside the wash is the well signed Buckhorn Wash Pictographs. There are many large and cool markings.
You will eventually make your way out of the wash where you will find an interesting sight. The Morrison Knudsen Tunnels were created in 1948 as military testing grounds. They are all now either filled in or gated for safety which I think is sad but they are still cool to see. For more info on the tunnels visit: http://coldwartourist.com/mk_tunnels
Next you will turn off the main road at the coordinates above. The area is decently signed for the Wedge Overlook but not perfect so maps are very useful. You will eventually come to a T in the trail with a picnic table. This was a perfect place for lunch perched right on the edge of the canyon but is not the main overlook.
Turn left at the T to get to the Wedge. This place is really amazing. You can see how it got its name due to its wedge shape.
The views from here are absolutely stunning. The San Rafael River has carved a very impressive canyon that everyone needs to experience once.
There are a ton of good campsites right by the canyon if you would like to stay and enjoy it.
You can return the way you came or proceed back on the main road to the city of Cleveland that is right by Price.
This area makes for a great day of exploring full of amazing scenery and relaxing off road driving.