SAN RAFAEL SWELL, UTAH
San Rafael Swell got it's name because tremendous geologic upheavals formed a giant dome of rock - a "swell" in the earth's surface. The harsh elements beat against this dome and eroded it into a wild, broken array of multi-colored sandstone. Wind and water carved this jumble of rock into incredible formations as buttes, canyons, pinnacles and mesas emerged, making the Swell one of the most ruggedly beautiful pockets of terrain in the world.
From skinny slot canyons that extend for miles (and in some parts so skinny you are sucking in your stomach and proceeding sideways) to beautiful plateaus and mesas.
This was my first time to the San Rafael Swell, and I am so glad I went. We camped deep in the valley away from everything, and enjoyed privacy, solitude, and clear skies to view the stars at night. During the day we explored hikes like Little Wildhorse Canyon, Baptist Draw/Upper Chute Canyon, and Crack Canyon. All were amazing slot canyon hikes that wind you through rugged desert terrain. *Do NOT hike here if it rains*
You can check out the different hikes offered
I loved this spot because of the privacy and solitude that we found. The bigger parks like Arches or Moab are always so much more crowded, so it was refreshing to discover this gem and really experience it ourselves.