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The Maze

Southeastern Utah

A 30-sq-mile jumble of high-walled canyons, the Maze is a rare preserve of true wilderness for hardy backcountry veterans. The colorful canyons are rugged, deep and sometimes completely inaccessible. Many of them look alike and it's easy to get turned around – hence the district's name. (Think topographic maps and GPS.) Rocky roads absolutely necessitate reliable, high-clearance 4WD vehicles. Plan on spending at least three days, though a week is ideal.

If you're at all inexperienced with four-wheel driving, stay away. Be prepared to repair your 4WD and, at times, the road. There may not be enough money on the planet to get you towed out of here. Most tow trucks won't even try.

Predeparture, always contact the Hans Flat Ranger Station for conditions and advice. The station is 136 miles (3½ hours) from Moab, and has a few books and maps, but no other services. Take Hwy 191 north, I-70 west, and then Hwy 24 south. Hans Flat is 16 miles south of Horseshoe Canyon. The few roads into the district are poor and often closed with rain or snow; bring tire chains from October to April.

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