Description: Devils Canyon is a beautiful slot in a remote section of the San Rafael Swell. Access is relatively easy. The area is popular with ATV riders but few hike here and so it is easy to find solitude. The scenery is amazing, with towering cliffs and majestic slickrock buttes rivaling the famous formations in Zion National Park.
Devils Canyon roughly parallels I-70 on the west side of the Swell. Take Exit 114 (Moore Cutoff) and drive south from the freeway onto Justensen Flat. The road winds east and then south as it drops down the cliff face into Devils Canyon. The section of road down the cliff is very rough and requires serious 4-Wheel-Drive. If you can't drive all the way down then park and hike the short distance into the canyon.
Park wherever you can close to where the road crosses Devils Canyon. Our hike begins where the road crosses the wash.
Devils Canyon East
From the trailhead you can hike up or down Devils Canyon, and then return the way you came. Or you can bushwhack to make a loop. Hiking east, the canyon becomes a fun slot and then winds around to the base of the San Rafael Knob. A great option is to make Devils Canyon a loop by exiting and hiking to the top of the Knob, then returning overland to the trailhead. To reach the Knob, hike up-canyon to the dryfall in the photo. Backtrack until you can exit the canyon on the south. Then hike overland to the Knob.
Devils Canyon West
Hiking west leads into to a beautiful narrows section in the Devils Canyon Wilderness Study area. The route has minor obstacles but is pretty easy if you stay in the main canyon and return the way you came. It becomes more difficult if you explore side canyons.
San Rafael Knob
The San Rafael Knob is the highest point in the San Rafael Swell. From the top you have amazing views out over some of the most ruggedly beautiful parts of the Swell. It is easy to include the Knob in a hike going east up Devils Canyon. See our San Rafael Knob hike for more details.