LITTLE WILD HORSE & BELL CANYON LOOP. SAN RAFAEL SWELL

November 16, 2015


Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.
The San Rafael Swell is a 40 mile by 70 mile uplift of sandstone, shale, and limestone from the Paleocene era around 40-60 million years ago.  The lifted pocket of rock has been shaped into some interesting canyon features from wicked flash flooding which has made the canyons into what they are today.   The Swell is around three and a half hours south of Salt Lake City and about 80 miles from Moab, Utah.
Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.
Little Wild Horse Canyon is a nice non technical route that takes you into some of the best terrain in the Swell which also loops around from the back of the swell and down into and through Bell Canyon, which takes you back to the car.
Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.
The Canyon is a casual walk up a wash until you get to a fork that can take you to little wild horse or bell canyons.

Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.
Going right at the fork will take you to little Wild Horse and might be a bit easier to navigate around and down if you are looking for the most casual of hikes in the swell.

Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.
The loop takes around 4 hours and the connecting road behind the swell is a bit longer than it may seem so keep following the road until you see an obvious canyon which is bell canyon.
Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.
The canyon walls would open up and close up as you make your way up Little Wild Horse Canyon.  It is a beautiful canyon with some interesting dug out sand pockets there were abundant as you made your way up to the top of the canyon.
Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.
The Canyon opened up into a large beautiful gorge which some interesting varnished walls and fabulous casual desert hiking which takes you right to the back of the swell and the connection road leading to Bell Canyon.

Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.

Bell canyon was also very nice and straightforward in its direction back to the fork where Bell meets Little Wild Horse Canyon.
Bell Canyon, San Rafael Swell, Utah
The sun was setting and we eventually made It back to the car just as the sun set over the swell.
Little Wild Horse Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah.
I do not have much experience in the Swell as of now but from what I understand, the Little Wild Horse / Bell canyon loop trail is the best among a casual and scenic hike routes in the swell.

Bell Canyon, San Rafael Swell, Utah

 Bell Canyon is a bit shorter than Little Wild Horse so if you are very limited on time than I recommend tackling Bell canyon but it is a great loop to add to a half day trip in the Swell.

Bell Canyon, San Rafael Swell, Utah



















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