Water in the desert is a beautiful thing. Growing up in Oregon and on the coast in Southeast Alaska, I never realized how much I took water for granted until I moved to the desert. In Oregon we call rain, ‘Oregon sunshine’, and I thought I lived in a rainy place until I moved to Yakutat, AK, which is actually one of the wettest places in the US! (It’s true- look it up!)
Then I moved to the desert.
Water is not a given around here! That sounds ridiculous to say, but coming from the Pacific Northwest, you really don’t think about water until it’s not there!
Each spring when the weather starts to warm up, we start looking for places to cool off, and luckily there are a couple small creeks with waterfalls in the area that run during the spring and early summer. Living in Monticello, Indian Creek Falls is definitely a local favorite. The pool at the bottom of the falls is deep enough to jump into when the water is higher, and just upstream where the creek is wider and shallower is a great place for little kids and dogs to cool off and play. Or of course, you could always hike up or down stream keeping cool by walking in the shallow water.
My son loves playing in the sand upstream from the falls in the shallow water. He could spend hours digging in the sand making dams and sand castles and floating boats and sticks down the creek. My husband and I joke that it’s *almost* as good as going to the beach!
Also, if you’re visiting the area with dogs, this is a great place to get them out and let them burn some energy and cool off! My dog is not a huge fan of water (I’ve never seen her get in water deep enough to swim) but she loves running up and down the creek splashing through the water and fetching sticks.
I’ve recently been becoming more and more aware of how difficult it can be to travel with your dog if you’re wanting to hike… I would say that the majority of people who visit southeast Utah are probably going to visit at least one National Park during their trip. Unfortunately, since the National Parks don’t allow dogs off of main roads and paved areas, aside from just driving through, there’s not a whole lot you can do in the parks if you have a dog with you. One really nice thing about our area is that, outside of Canyonlands and Natural Bridges National Monument, you are able to take your dog almost anywhere with just a few exceptions.
(For more pet friendly hikes and places you can take your dog, please click the ‘Dog-friendly‘ option in the tag cloud or categories on the right hand side of this page.)
If you’re looking for camping in the area, in addition to Hamburger Rock Campground, which is located along the Lockhart Basin Road between Hwy 211 and Indian Creek Falls, there are also a lot of great places for dispersed camping along the road. There are quite a few spots both before and after Hamburger Rock Campground, some of them quite large if you’re looking for a good place to camp with a group. If you’d prefer to have a campspot arranged ahead of time, there is also one reservable group site that you can reserve on recreation.gov.
If you’re looking for a fun place to cool off, or a great place camp just outside the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, the Indian Creek Falls area is the perfect location!
From Monticello: Drive north on Hwy 191 for approximately 14 miles to the junction of Hwy 191 and Hwy 211. Turn west (left) onto Hwy 211 and drive approximately 23 miles. Take the turn off to the northeast (right) for Lockhart Basin/Hamburger Rock Campground. Drive approximately 2.5 miles until you reach the creek and a large unpaved parking area. Indian Creek Falls is just downstream from the parking area.
It is located approximately 3 miles southeast of Canyonlands National Park and 17 miles northwest of Newspaper Rock.
For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386
Or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org