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Lower Fish Creek Canyon

Distance: 3.6 - 8.0 miles (round trip)

BLM, Monticello, Utah office, near Bluff in Southeast Utah

Looking across the canyon at ruins tycked in an alcove beneath a large overhang

Looking across the canyon at ruins tycked in an alcove beneath a large overhang


A moderately-easy hike up a pleasant, shallow canyon with Ancestral Puebloan ruins and a few rock art sites. (full description)

  • Distance: 3.6 miles (round trip) to Best Ruins
    8.0 miles (round trip) to View of Tower Ruin
  • Elevation: 4,550-ft. at Trailhead
    4,610-ft. at Best Ruins
    4,700-ft. at View of Tower Ruin
  • Elevation Gain: 60-ft. to Best Ruins
    210-ft. to View of Tower Ruin
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Basecamp: Bluff / Mexican Hat
  • Region: Southeast Utah

Why Hike Lower Fish Creek Canyon

This pleasant off-the-beaten-path trail in lower Fish Creek Canyon offers a degree of solitude not found on other trails in the area. Starting near the confluence of Fish Creek and Comb Wash, the trail heads west/northwest up the shallow canyon along scrub covered benches.

After walking 1.3 miles observant hikers will spot the first ruin across the canyon. Over the next 2.7 miles there are 6 more ruins, two of which contain multiple structures and rock art. The other ruins are granaries and/or small ruins tuck into the cliff side. The last is a ruin atop the south rim that was possibly a lookout tower.

This description covers the first four miles of the canyon. Beyond that point the trail continues up canyon to the confluence of McCloyd and Owl Canyons, offering a variety of options for point-to-point backpacks.

Much of the trail is exposed and can get hot in the full sun. Be sure to carry plenty of water.

Read the full trail description

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile - Lower Fish Creek Canyon

Trail Resources