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| Sunny & Jean Hanson | Trip Reports

2008 Trip Reports - Canyonlands

The Hansens and Hughes’s Vacation to the Maze District of Canyonlands

 High clearance 4X4 was required  and experienced drivers were necessary. The Park Service recommended an extra  spare tire and gas for each vehicle. Campsite permits are limited and must be  reserved ahead of time (we reserved ours four months ahead and earlier would  have been better.) The road from Hite Marina to the Maze Overlook is fifty miles  long and took six hours to get there, but the view from the Maze Overlook  campground was incredible and made the trip worthwhile.  The roads are very  scenic, with some areas being quite rough and requiring a spotter. The rock art  in this area is outstanding. 

Our first hike was from the  Maze Overlook into the canyons. It was an eight-hour roundtrip hike, which  required ropes and webbing both to descend into the canyon and come back up. The  descent into the canyon was approximately four tenths of a mile and took about  two hours. This was an old Indian trail, which in some places still had moki  steps that had to be used as part of the trail. The following day we drove to  the Dollhouse, which was approximately fifty miles and took another six hours.  It is probably one of the most scenic roads we’ve ever driven in our lives. The  campsite at the Dollhouse was very beautiful and the hikes in that area were  very scenic.


In 0ur eight days in the Maze  area we saw very few vehicles. There was one vehicle at the Maze Overlook and  another vehicle on the road to the Dollhouse. Most of the hikes in both areas  involved some rock scrambling to get in and out of the canyons. Once we started  back out, the drive out to Hite was another six hours. 

After parting ways with the  Hughes, Sunny & I went to Hanksville for a shower, food and gas and the next  morning went into Hans Flat and took a side road into the Outlaw Springs area  for more hiking and 4-wheeling adventure. Our night in this beautiful canyon was  interrupted by two burros braying all night long next to our campsite. The next  morning we went down the Flint Trail, which is a very steep and scenic route  into the Maze and drove once again straight through to Hite, which was another  six hours of beautiful, amazing scenery and in some places, rough roads.

We would have to rate this as  one of our top trips for scenery, hiking and 4-wheeling. In future, we would  like to return to the Dollhouse and hike every trail there, including the hikes  into Spanish Bottom and the Confluence Overlook trail, which ends at the  overlook of the Green and Colorado Rivers. We have seen this confluence from the  Needles District of Canyonlands as well, but that was another adventure.

Jean Hansen