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USA Horseshoe Canyon

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Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park (Not to be confused with Horseshoe Canyon, Arizona) is where “The Great Gallery” pictographs are located. It is also worthy of exploration by itself. The hike into the canyon and along the canyon floor is very scenic. There’s a seasonal stream lined with Cottonwood trees that turn golden yellow in autumn. The canyon is also home to a herd of wild burros that are regarded as pests by park rangers but in my opinion are beautiful animals. The burros however, are an invasive species. Park officials say they take a huge toll on the park’s ecosystem because they consume large amounts of vegetation and hog the water that vulnerable native species need to survive the harsh climate. That’s easy to believe because the dozen or so that seemed to follow us into the canyon like curious kittens appeared to be quite healthy. While I was previously aware of their existence, I didn’t know their colors were so varied. Some were predominantly brown while most had large multicolored splotches all over. Of course if this not enough, the aforementioned pictographs are widely regarded as the finest and best preserved examples of Barrier Canyon Style Indian art in North America.

Photography Tips

Whether you go there to photograph the wild burros or the pictographs, a telephoto lens is suggested.

Travel Information

Reach the trailhead by going west from Green River Utah on I-70 to the junction with highway 24 that goes south to Hanksville. Go toward Hanksville for about 25 miles to Mile Post 135.5. Turn left (east) onto a signed, graded road at mile post 135.5 and reset your odometer. Follow this two-wheel-drive graded dirt road for 24.5 miles to an obvious junction with an information kiosk. Reset your odometer at this junction. Go left (east) for 5.1 miles to a side road on the right signed Horseshoe Canyon. Follow the side road to its end and trailhead after 1.6 miles. There is a pit toilet and several spots for camping at the trailhead. The route is possible with a 2WD vehicle if driven carefully in dry conditions. If the dirt part of the road is wet, even a 4WD vehicle is not recommended. Don’t try it.
Spot Type Outdoor
Crowd Factor Nearly no other people
Best Timing Sunrise during fall
Sunrise & Sunset 06:11 - 20:43 | current local time: 17:34
Photo Themes Canyon Landscape

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Thank you Gary Leverett for creating this photo spot in USA.
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