Moab, UT: Cameltoe Canyon

Put your route-finding skills to the test on this 5-mile trek that ascends rock ledges, skirts slickrock pools, and traverses sandy-bottomed washes.
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Put your route-finding skills to the test on this 5-mile trek that ascends rock ledges, skirts slickrock pools, and traverses sandy-bottomed washes.

This 5-mile out-and-back into Cameltoe Canyon is a perfect introduction to canyoneering—the route requires scrambling and route-finding skills, but ropes, harnesses, and hardware aren't mandatory. Plus, the canyon has a few slickrock pools to cool your feet on a hot day. From the trailhead, hike north along ATV tracks. The route passes petroglyphs after .4 mile, then roughly follows the wash north and northeast to round a knob and descend a gully on the other side. Scramble northwest through dry and wet sections of the wash for .3 mile to slickrock slabs that make for a more secluded overnight stay than the campground at the trailhead. Continue up canyon through a keyhole, passing more slickrock pools, before turning around at mile 2.6 and retracing the route back to the trailhead.
Mapped by Steve Howe

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.1

Waypoints

CML001

Location: 38.5749435424805, -109.632522583008

From the Corona Arch Trailhead, hike north along ATV tracks to gate. Gold Bar campground lies to the west, between UT 279 and the Colorado River.

CML002

Location: 38.5791511535644, -109.634986877441

Follow zigzag passage through fence. Look for petroglyphs on boulder immediately to the north. Next, continue on trail that winds along bench on canyon's east side.

CML003

Location: 38.5856857299805, -109.63053894043

At mile 1.2, after rounding Point 4,293 (unnamed high point), descend to gully and turn left (north).

CML004

Location: 38.5868339538574, -109.631477355957

Shallow pools in slickrock slab are great for soaking the feet. Continue north.

CML005

Location: 38.5875816345215, -109.632545471191

Bypass dry pour-over at mile 1.3 by detouring left (southeast); hike downcanyon.

CML006

Location: 38.58740234375, -109.632278442383

Climb out of wash onto ledges west of canyon bottom.

CML007

Location: 38.5873832702637, -109.632713317871

Nice campsite on open slabs with views of surrounding bowl, mesas overhead, and sandstone fins across the Colorado River.

CML008

Location: 38.5881156921387, -109.633720397949

Pass through keyhole behind boulder.

CML009

Location: 38.5884780883789, -109.633338928223

More slickrock pools.

CML010

Location: 38.5925140380859, -109.632476806641

Large pour-over blocks upstream passage in wash. Detour right (east); may require backtracking.

CML011

Location: 38.5939674377441, -109.630264282227

Ledges allow you to downclimb back to washbottom, or continue northeast on ledges above canyon.

CML012

Location: 38.5955047607422, -109.625984191895

Good point to turn around (rougher terrain ahead). Retrace route back to trailhead.

Steep Walls

Location: 38.5879325866699, -109.633476257324

Pinon Scrub

Location: 38.5884971618652, -109.63353729248

Rock Formations

Location: 38.588924407959, -109.633171081543

Look for these rock formations just south of Point 4,672.

Shady Spot

Location: 38.5894432067871, -109.633247375488