This short family-friendly loop hike visits an Ancestral Puebloan granary a small structure once used for food storage by prehistoric cultures. Numbered signs and an accompanying interpretative brochure ($.50 at the trailhead) make the hike as informative as it is beautiful. At just 0.3 miles round trip and with less than 50 feet of elevation change this hike is suitable for most children and adults.

The Trailhead

The trailhead for Roadside Ruin is located in The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. To reach the Roadside Ruin trailhead from Moab, Utah:

  1. Drive south on US-191 for approximately 40 miles to the signed junction for Canyonlands National Park/UT-211.
  2. Turn right onto UT-211 and continue for 34 miles before arriving at the entrance to Canyonlands.
  3. Drive 0.7 mile past the entrance station to the signed trailhead for Roadside Ruin on the left (38.163165,-109.762576).

Note: There is a $25 per vehicle fee to enter Canyonlands National Park. Trail guide brochures with additional information are available at the trailhead for a $.50 cent fee.

The Hike

From the parking area, begin hiking east on the well-marked trail. Interpretive trail guide brochures are available at the start of the trail for a fee of $.50 each. These brochures provide more in-depth information about the history of the area as well as the native plant life marked by numbered signs along the trail.

Just beyond the brochure kiosk, turn right at the split in the trail. This is where the loop reconnects at the end of the hike. Continue hiking east as the trail meanders through an open field with sweeping views of Canyonlands National Park. Soon the trail descends a short slope into a wash bottom. Continue hiking until you reach a junction (38.163637,-109.760417). Turn right onto a short spur trail that leads to a viewing area of an ancient Ancestral Puebloan granary (38.163637,-109.760417). This small structure was once used as a place to store food. After taking your time viewing the granary, return down the spur trail back to the main path to continue the loop back to your vehicle.

Rules and Regulations

  • Pack out all trash.
  • Stay on designated trail.
  • Do not draw or carve on rocks.
  • Do not touch or disturb artifacts.

Special Considerations

  • This area can be extremely hot during spring, summer and fall. Carry plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing.


This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.