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Moab Area Horseback Riding

Moab Area Horseback Riding
Photo courtesy of Red Cliffs Lodge

This page is designed to give you general information on equestrian trails. It also gives approximate time needed for each trail. The estimated times do not allow for side trips and stops. Always carry a map of the area and take plenty of water for your pack and saddle stock.

Suggested Moab Area Horseback Riding Trails

Moab Horseback Riding Trails


1 - Ken's Lake Trail

Trail Length
2 hour ride

Sand and Sandstone

Bureau of Land Management (See below for regulations)

Trailhead Directions
Go South from Moab on Hwy 191 turn left at mile post 118 onto Old Airport Road. Turn right onto Spanish Valley Drive .5 miles. Turn left to Ken's Lake, continue past the campground entrance .2 miles to the horse trailhead to park.

From the parking area ride towards the lake and cross the creek. Follow the road between the lake and the red cliffs to the east. The sandy parts of the road are a good place for a loop. As you pass the lake there is a road turning left to loop around the lake, or you can continue north and explore the ridges below the cliffs.

2 - Pack Creek Trail

Trail Length
4.5 hour ride

Dirt and gravel with loose rock

Forest Service (See below for regulations)

Trailhead Directions
Go South from Moab on Hwy 191, turn left at mile post 118 onto Old Airport Road. Turn right onto Spanish Valley Drive .5 miles. Go past the Ken's Lake turn off and continue on the La Sal Mountain Loop Road. Turn right towards Pack Creek Picnic Area onto Pack Creek Road. Park just past the Pack Creek Picnic Area. The trailhead is back before the cattleguard you just crossed, west of the picnic entrance. (There is a gate to bypass the cattleguard).

Just before the cattleguard at the picnic area entrance, ride up USFS 719, a gravel road going to the south just before the USFS Pack Creek Campground. Stay on the gravel road as it climbs through an easement of private property. Go past a minor road to the left, and an old cattle loading ramp on the right. Continue gaining elevation until you reach a fork in the road. Take the left fork for another mile. The road ends and the trial begins with a creek crossing. Continue riding up the trail, which will eventually climb to 10,000 feet at La Sal Pass. This part of the trail is best for experienced riders and stock. There are incredible views of the mountains along this trail.

3 - Seven Mile Canyon Trail

Trail Length
4.5 hour ride

Sandy Wash

Bureau of Land Management (See below for regulations)

Trailhead Directions
Go North from Moab on Hwy 191, nine miles out of Moab. Turn west onto Hwy 313, and park at the fourth possible left turn. You will park on a flat area next to the road, and there is plenty of room to turn around. (If you start to climb a hill on Hwy 313 you have gone to far). Ride down the dirt road and follow the canyon to the south.

Follow the jeep route up the wash. Stay in the main canyon. Side canyons are impassable, and impossible to ride. At the end of the canyon is a grotto, which is usually has a pond. The water is not for human consumption.

4 - Onion Creek Trail

Trail Length
4 hour ride

Dirt and gravel road

Bureau of Land Management (See below for regulations)

Trailhead Directions
Go North from Moab on Hwy 191 and turn right onto Hwy 128. Turn right on a road marked Taylor Ranch at mile marker 20. After you turn you'll see a small sign for Onion Creek.

Park at the parking area before the first creek crossing within the first mile. You can continue on over the bridge and meet up with the Stinking Spring.


Bureau of Land Management Lands

Equestrians are required to feed weed-free hay to pack and saddle stock while using BLM land. Although horses are not restricted to designated roads and trails, resource damage is lessened when all riders stay on the same route.

Pack and saddle stock are allowed at any BLM campground (BLM requests that you pick up the waste as a courtesy to other users). However, certain campgrounds are more suitable for pack and saddle stock trailers. These are: Goose Island, Ken's Lake, and Hittle Bottom Campgrounds.

For additional information contact the Bureau of Land Management at 435-259-2100.

Forest Service Lands

    1. Know your stock.
    2. Take supplemental and weed-seed-free feed.
    3. Use nosebags and mangers when feeding your horse stock hay, pellets or grain.
    4. Stay on the trails and avoid shortcuts.
    5. Be courteous and yield to others when you can.
    6. Travel in small groups.
    7. Use highlines and tree saver straps. Do not tie directly to tree.
    8. Keep stock at least 200 feet from shorelines and streams.
    9. Break up and scatter horse manure and fill in pawed holes.
    10. All trails open to horse use.
    11. Do not camp at trail heads.
    12. Camping with pack and saddle stock is not permitted in developed campgrounds.

For additional information contact the Manti La Sal National Forest at 435-259-7155.

Canyonlands National Park

Pack and saddle stock may be taken on all backcountry roads and in Horseshoe Canyon. Cross-country travel is prohibited. Pack and saddle stock include horses, burros or mules. All other domestic animals are prohibited in the backcountry. All pack and saddle stock use requires a backcountry permit, which may be obtained at district visitor centers.

Lack of water is a limiting factor for pack and saddle trips in Canyonlands, as only a few areas have reliable sources. Contact the park for recommended destinations.


Stock must be fed pelletized feed for 48 hours in advance of and for the duration of the trip in order to prevent the spread of exotic plant species. Animals may not be left unattended and must be staked at least 300 feet from water sources and away from vegetation where possible. Park vegetation may not be consumed. Animals may not be unstaked and hobbled.

Day Use

Day use permits are unlimited and free of charge, except in Horse/Salt Creek and Lavender Canyons in the Needles District, where day use is limited to seven animals per day. In these areas, permits are available through the reservation system and fees are charged. In all other areas of the park, including Horseshoe Canyon, group size must not exceed ten animals and ten people.

Overnight Use

Overnight trips must stay at designated vehicle camps. Permits are $30. All manure and feed must be packed out from the campsites. The group size limit is seven people and ten horses for the Needles and Island in the Sky, and five people and eight horses for the Maze and Orange Cliffs. Overnight use is not allowed in Horseshoe Canyon.

Canyonlands National Park Contact Information

Park Headquarters

Island in the Sky District

Needles District

Maze/Horseshoe Canyon

Tips for a Safe Ride

  • Always carry a map of the area.
  • Stay on established trails and routes and other areas open for equestrian use. Be aware of prohibited areas.
  • Know which roads are open to vehicle & stock use.
  • Be prepared to provide water for your stock.
  • Cutting switchbacks and taking shortcuts ca destroy vegetation and cause others to use unauthorized routes.
  • Respect and be courteous of others who want to enjoy the lands you are enjoying.
  • Be considerate and honor other's desire for solitude and a peaceful outdoor experience.
  • When riding, be especially cautious around hikers and bikers.
  • Whenever possible, use existing campsites designated for saddle stock. Camp on durable surfaces and place tents on a non-vegetated area. Do not dig trenches around tents.
  • Camp at least 200 feet from water and trails.
  • Hold saddle stock 200 feet from lakes, streams, huts and camping areas.
  • Avoid damage to vegetation when tethering your saddle stock. Do not tie saddle stock to trees, small limbs saplings or shrubs. Use highline for tethering.
  • Use corrals, paddocks or hitching rails where provided.
  • Report lost pack and saddle stock immediately.
  • For cooking, use a camp stove. They are always preferable to campfire in terms of impact on the land.
  • Observe all fire restrictions. For campfires, use only fallen timber. Gather firewood well away from your camp. Do not cut down trees.
  • Let fire burn down to a fine ash. Ensure the fire is completely extinguished. Leave your surroundings as you found them.
  • Do all you can to help protect the forest, lands and waters that mean so much to you.
  • Do all you can to help protect the forest, lands and waters that mean so much to you.
  • Inquire with local land management personnel for information on such considerations as access, weather conditions, snowpack, available feed, high-use areas and wildlife considerations.
  • Know the techniques required in the backcountry before heading out.


Moab Area Horse Trails

Horseback Brochure

Additional Trails

The following areas are also suitable for horseback riding. Detailed maps of these areas can be purchased at the Moab Information Center or at many of the shops in Moab:

  • Millcreek Rim Trail
  • Archview Ride
  • Mill & Tusher Canyon Trail

Detailed Maps

Moab Information Center

Once you arrive in Moab, detailed trail maps and guides are available for sale at the Moab Information Center (MIC). Located in the center of Moab, on Main & Center Street, the MIC staff is always happy to assist you.

GPSGPS - Moab Info Ctr
Lat/Long (WGS84)

38° 34' 22.4" N
109° 33' 0.1" W

Mail Order

Detailed trail maps and guides may also be purchased online from the Canyonlands Natural History Association, the company that stocks the information center. They can be reached on the internet at or at 800-840-8978.

Public Lands

These lands are administered by the Bureau of Land Management. If you have any specific questions about current conditions or regulations, contact them directly:

Bureau of Land Management
Moab Field Office

82 East Dogwood
Moab, Utah 84532

Overnight Boarding Facilities

OK RV Park & Canyonlands Stables
3310 Spanish Valley Drive
Moab, UT 84532

Old Spanish Trail Arena
3300 Spanish Valley Drive
Moab, UT 84532

Red Cliffs Lodge
Note: Overnight boarding available with paid lodging. 24 stalls & arena.
Highway 128 - Milepost 14
Moab, UT

Veterinary Services

Moab Veterinary Clinic
4575 Spanish Valley Drive
Moab, UT  84532

Trail Etiquette



  • Yield to horses & hikers. Move off trail on downhill side and stop.
  • Talk to horseback riders & hikers.
  • Stay a safe distance from horses (10-15 ft).
  • Avoid sudden moves and loud noises near horses.
  • Pass at slow speed.


  • Yield to others moving faster than horses.
  • Move off trail when stopping.
  • Talk to bikers, hikers & horseback riders.
  • Keep horses a safe distance from others.
  • Never frighten others with horses.
  • Clean up manure, from loading areas.


  • Yield to horses. Move off trail on downhill side and stop.
  • Talk to horseback riders.
  • Stay a safe distance from horses (10-15 ft).
  • Avoid sudden moves & loud noises near horses.



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