Tenmile Canyon

Scout Route
5/5 (1 reviews)

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Tenmile Canyon trail, approximately 15 miles long, descends through Tenmile Canyon from Dripping Springs to the bank of the Green River. It can also be accessed from Tenmile Point Road by Midway Access Road. While most of the trail is an out-and-back, you can exit via this road to save yourself time on the way back.

Tenmile Canyon is truly unique and a hidden gem in the Moab region. It is the only place where you can drive a vehicle all the way down a natural canyon from the point where it is just a shallow wash on the prairie to where it is a deep canyon intersecting Labyrinth Canyon at the Green River. All other road access points to the river bank are reached by means of steep, man-made dugways. The route through Tenmile Canyon descends so gradually one can barely perceive the descent, save for the canyon walls growing ever higher on either side. This, together with the spectacular scenery of the tree-lined river bottom surrounded by majestic red rock cliffs, makes this trail unlike any other motorized route in the area.

The trail surface is mostly sand, and the majority of the trail is easy in dry conditions. The wash is constantly being reshaped by flash floods. Flooding, deep water crossings, and quicksand can be present after recent rain, and you may have to navigate washed-out parts of the trail and dodge flood debris. The last few miles before the Green River get rockier and more challenging. There is one named obstacle called Boulder Choke, which requires dropping off a steep ledge and then weaving between tight boulders in a narrow slot canyon section.

Though the lower section is most often driven by dirt bikes and ATVs, the entire trail is open and passable to full-size 4x4s. This trail is rarely driven all the way to the end, and even during the busiest times of the year, you are likely to be completely alone in the canyon. The side canyons make excellent hikes. Camping is not allowed within the canyon itself, but there is a designated camping area right at the beginning of the trail at Dripping Springs. This trail is threatened with closure in the ongoing Labyrinth Rims / Gemini Bridges travel planning process, so make sure to stay on the trail and tread lightly when you visit.