John's Canyon

5/5 (3 reviews)
Mexican Hat, Utah (SanJuan County)
Last Updated: 06/11/2020
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Trail Information

Highlights

John's Canyon Trail is a spectacular road that lies along the belt-line between the 1000 foot cliffs of Cedar Mesa to the north and the San Juan River 1000 feet below in Grand Gulch to the south. Anasazi petroglyphs are abundant in the area so keep a sharp eye out. Access to the trail is easy to find along UT 316 W and is in close proximity to Utah's spectacular Goosenecks State Park.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

5/5 (3 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/13/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

What a fun trek. Not difficult but great views and petroglyphs. Right around the 7.2 mile point there is a boulder on the right with some nice petroglyphs. The side facing the road has a couple of deer tracks and other small images. The top of the boulder has a panel with 2 spirals and 3 anthropomorphic images. We've heard the center image referred to as the Dotted Man which seems most appropriate. We backed our pickup up to the boulder and stood in the back to take our photos. It's not often a person gets that sort of luxury. The next site of interest that we noticed was at the 8.5 mile point where a large boulder slab sits a couple hundred feet from the road like a big billboard. An interesting aspect of this location is that it appears to provide access to the top of the mesa. As referenced by Carol Patterson 'Katsina take the form of ducks when traveling'. Notice that the one on the left has bird hands and feet while the ones on the right have a human appearance. These are a few of the images on the right hand side of the slab. Notice the snake with the line connecting it to what looks like a dead person. As the road turns and heads into John's Canyon there is a boulder with an inscription dated 1951 and a small image that is 4 or 5 inches tall. Just before the 15 mile point the road crosses the wash of John's Canyon. There is one gap in the slickrock that makes the crossing a little rough. After crossing the wash there is a road that goes along the wash to some nice primitive campsites in the cottonwood trees before it ends. The John's Canyon road makes a steep climb out of the wash and comes to a fork. The right fork, which doesn't show up on maps, leads on into John's Canyon while the John's Canyon road itself follows the left fork that leads toward Slickhorn Canyon. Straight ahead along the right fork is an area of concentrated petroglyphs known as The Gallery that is only a couple hundred yards from the road. Since you have come this far you will want to be sure to check it out.
Trail Review: John's Canyon - Wade Norton
Trail Review: John's Canyon - Wade Norton
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Greg Stokes
Official Crew
25900
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/11/2020

Visited Johns Canyon during a 4 day overland trip to the area. Trail is in great shape but dry and dusty. The spring at the end is a great place to stop for lunch.
Trail Review: John's Canyon - Greg Stokes
Trail Review: John's Canyon - Greg Stokes
Greg Stokes
Official Crew
25900
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/16/2019

Trail is open and in great shape. Recent moisture in the area has packed the ground and diminished the dust kicked up along the trail.

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