We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
68 posts
45 reviews
Save Topic
How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

Does anyone know how far and how strenuous the hike is to False Kiva? How long does it take?

Grand Junction...
Level Contributor
356 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

From where you leave the paved road to when you reach False Kiva is just over half a mile. Thing is.....you can't park right there close to the trail. I keep thinking you have to use the parking area just north of there and then walk south to the trail head. Not sure how far that is...maybe about another eighth or quarter of a mile from where you would park to the trail head.

My wife and I sure wouldn't consider that a very strenuous hike....but that is relative. I am in my late 50's and she is in her mid 60's and it was more of a stroll for us. But we live out here near Moab and hike a lot so what we call easy...someone from Long Island might think is rugged.

It is a great little hike....though it is not too well marked. Still if you have directions....you can't miss it. I think after you get to the rim of the canyon..... climbing right up to the little alcove maybe the last 200 feet might be the most exerting part of the hike.

As far as the time goes......well... I like to putz around on my hikes....so again it is hard to say. I have never really tracked the time of that hike since it is more of just an filler hike for me and my wife. I would venture to just say though, that once you get up to the parking area on Island in the Sky.......you should give yourself no less than 2 hours but no more than 3 to do this little gem of a hike.

I highly recommend this one.

Edited: 23 February 2011, 04:34
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
68 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

Thanks Reddirtdawg! You're right, most people from Long Island would consider it rugged to do that hike but my husband says he's in training by walking to the donut store (ha ha). Serious though, city folk don't know what they are missing. We have done quite a bit of hiking through most of the National Parks in the U.S. and in the Canadian Rockies so it sounds like a very doable hike for us. We would love to live out west but can't so we visit as much as possible. I am definately going to fit that hike into our itinerary.

Why I have your ear, can I ask you for suggestions on our other choices in Canyonlands? In the Needles I was looking at either Elephant Hill/Chesler Park/Joint trail, Confluence overlook trail or Lost Canyon. We only have time for one of them. They all seem about the same distance around 10 miles so can you suggest one over the other? Can I get to all of those trail heads with a regular car or do I need a high clearance or 4x4 vehicle?

Do you know anything about the Coyote Buttes? Can I get to it in a regular car? How long of a hike, etc.... I think I read 3 miles each way, does that sound right?

Strandhill, Ireland
Level Contributor
452 posts
336 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

I wish this post was here last September! We did the hike right down to underneath the alcove, but the remaining bit back up looked a bit daunting to us, especially on day 2 of our 3 week honeymoon!

As soon as we got back to our hotel later that day, we both said we're coming back to finish this hike and get up there...and we're scheduled for another trip this Oct! So hopefully it'll be a bit cooler, and we know exactly where we're going this time!

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
21 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

I hiked this in early October. The hiking itself is not difficult. there is a fair amount of rock scrambling that it a bit more challenging if you are not used to it, but certainly do-able for anyone who is in reasonably good shape. You don't have to be a fitness guru, but should be used to being active.

I can see how people easily get lost. I had great directions and was close to getting lost. the cairns blend in with the surrounding rocks. Make sure someone knows where you are in case you get lost. If you get lost, you are on your own. I didn't see anyone while I was out there. I used a SPOT GPS locator, which made me more confident.

…smugmug.com/Landscapes/Southwest-Fall-2011/…

Strandhill, Ireland
Level Contributor
452 posts
336 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

Try two 13 months on and we got to the kiva at the end of oct. 45 mins to get there, 60 to get back. Having done most of the hike we actually found it easy until the final bit, which as said involves a bit of scrambling. Mega place, very spiritual up there.

Steamboat Springs...
Level Contributor
2,614 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

I like the trail that takes you out to Chesler park. A lot of variety in that hike. You would not need 4WD to drive to the trailhead.

You can also get out to the North Coyote Buttes TH (Wire Pass pkng lot) in a regular car as long as the roads are dry. You realize you'd need a permit to hike either north or south C Buttes (acquired online 4 mo ahead, or the day before at the Kanab BLM) Not an easy ticket to get.

Oswego, New York...
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

I'm 67 & didn't find it too bad a hike, even on a 95° day. Have to agree that the trail isn't all that well marked, but well worth the hike.

If you are into photography (or even if you are not) sunrise at Mesa Arch is a great experience.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
16,154 posts
369 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

In Canyonlands Island in the Sky also look at the Aztec Butte hike to see several old granaries. I'm thinking about a two hour total time will give you the loop and see both granary sites. In Needles, we like the Chesler Park hike(s) to give you the greatest sense of the Needles. You can make it to the Elephant Hill lot with a car. Going further is a challenge.

Have fun. We're in Moab this weekend for Easter Jeep Safari - so much to see.

Moab, Utah
Destination Expert
for Moab
Level Contributor
3,291 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

…photobucket.com/albums/y26/lee683/random/ho…

Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
68 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: How hard is the hike to False Kiva?

Thanks everyone. We are back from the trip and loved the False Kiva hike. It was pretty easy except for the scrambling at the end. You did have to look for the cairns but had no problem finding the Kiva. It was a little confusing at the end because it switches back but it's really not that hard if you keep your eyes open.

We tried to get the permit for Coyote Buttes 4 months ahead but had no luck but we did hike the Chesler Park/Joint trail. It was really hot!!! Probably 110 degrees. But then again it was August in the desert. We really liked that trail also. It was long but not overly strenuous. Anyone going needs to bring alot of water. We only passed one group hiking the trail so be prepared because you may not see anyone else on the trail.

We had a great trip. Thanks for all the suggestions

Get answers to your questions about Canyonlands National...