False Kiva

Wilhite Trail, Moab, Utah 84532 USA

  • Independent
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“A mysterious campsite with an incredible view..”

False Kiva is a human-made stone circle of unknown origin in a cave in a remote area of the Canyonlands National Park, which is located in U.S. state of Utah. It requires some hiking knowledge or special directions to find. It has become a popular spot for photographers capturing the Southwest, offering a unique frame for the dramatic thunderstorms or clear skies beyond. While located in a naturally occurring cave, the name False Kiva arises from the uncertainty around the circle of stones' origins and purpose, not whether it is really an authentic kiva. Debate rages on whether to disclose the exact location of False Kiva as it enjoys a semi-protected status. While park rangers are required to disclose the location of the Class II site, it does not appear on official maps of the park. Because of the remoteness of the location, the site itself is not protected from vandalism of any kind. However, local guides are available to take interested parties to the site, raising questions as to whether closely guarding the location of False Kiva is particularly effective. The exact coordinates for False Kiva are occasionally divulged on forums, but GPS users should be aware that these exact directions can place hikers 500 feet directly above False Kiva on the rim of the canyon.The trailhead to False Kiva is not marked or signed from park roads, but the route itself is marked by cairns in several locations, and can be accessed without technical climbing equipment.

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Reviewed by
Joel Schat

  • Photographer
  • 237 Reviews
  • 519 Helpful
April 10, 2014

This place is something else. While sitting in the kiva, regardless of how windy it is out it is absolutely dead quiet. The hike in is much easier than expected and the view is amazing. Make sure to look in the corner for the old army ammunition box with a notebook full of signatures and notes from all the other people who have been there!

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 17 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
June 14, 2016
Rated 5.0

Memorial day 2016 was an absolutely perfect day!! Sun was shining brightly, temperatures in the upper 80s, with a slight breeze and some high clouds. Hike out was great. The hike back is all uphill. Took about 2.5 hrs round-trip and that is with stopping and having lunch in the Kiva. Remember to pack it in and pack it out and leave no trace. This is a class II geological site and it's not meant for everyone. Be respectful, stay out of the circle, and leave the place better than you find it!! Reminder, people come for the peace and quiet, not to hear the hip-hop music blaring from your iPhone. Ran into group of teenagers that were completely disrespectful but once I asked them politely to please turn it down and be respectful, they were (at least while we were still there). Enjoy the adventure!!

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Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 29, 2015
Rated 4.0

Amazing! I'm not at all experienced in hiking or the outdoors and I made it. There were some tricky areas and scrambles that may seem a bit intimidating to a novice adventurer like myself, but it is absolutely worth it. We were able to find it just by a few Google searches and following the cairns. The view is incredible, especially at sunset, but don't forget to allow yourself plenty of time to make the hike back. Even with headlamps, that is NOT a fun trek in the dark!

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False Kiva

Wilhite Trail
Moab, Utah
84532 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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