Into the Canyonlands: Indian Creek

The Indian Creek area, located on the east side of Canyonlands National Park, south of Moab, Utah, is famous for its dramatic and sheer Wingate Sandstone cliffs, and is an internationally-known and treasured rock climbing destination.

Rock climbing on 'Scarface'; one of the classic climbs in the perfect Wingate sandstone of Indian Creek Canyon, Utah. Copyright James Kay.

While about 6,000 acres of Indian Creek is protected in the interim as a Wilderness Study Area (WSA), the remaining wild lands currently have no meaningful protective status.  Recently, San Juan County, UT (where Indian Creek is located) officials have been pushing the Bureau of Land Management to approve an off-road vehicle trail “to provide an exclusive recreational opportunity for ATV enthusiasts . . .”  The proposed ATV trail, approximately 4 miles long, would bisect a roadless area and could adversely affect this stretch of Indian Creek – a desert stream that supports a variety of wildlife species including desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and golden eagles as it meanders through the redrock and high desert grasslands on its way to the Colorado River.

By protecting Greater Canyonlands, we can help preserve Indian Creek’s world-famous scenery and critical riparian habitat.  Visit and to take action!