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False Kiva

7 Reviews

False Kiva

7 Reviews
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David R wrote a review Oct 2019
Tacoma, Washington104 contributions40 helpful votes
As already noted by others, this trail is NOT marked on any map nor is there a road-side sign saying "False Kiva Trailhead". The cordoned off False Kiva itself at the end of this hike is a Class II Archaeological Site. There is no excuse under the Island in the Sky sun that gets the ugly souls who damaged this site off the hook but that appears to be the world in which we live: people who think everything on this earth is for them to deface, damage, destroy. Inexcusable. At the ranger station, I was told to watch for a kind of "fence" made of juniper. The ranger drew a very rough circle where that "fence" would be. He also pointed out some trail areas where caution is needed. After some trial-and-error searching along the road side, we did finally find that ever-so-elusive "trail". The hike itself is moderately difficult - especially if one is not as spry and/or flexible as one used to be (I'm 69, my wife 67). There is a fair amount of scrambling up, on, over slickrock (which really isn't slick if the day is dry). There are sections where you just have to butt-scooch DOWN between rocks as the grade can get pretty steep. There are large rocks to either climb over or work your way around. Parts of this trail are not easy but because of its almost unknown existence, you have the place virtually to yourself. SCORE!! The park rangers did a really super job of placing cairns for one to use as a "map" - be keenly aware as you hike to look ahead frequently to see where those cairns are located. Some will be big; some will be tiny. No matter, a good eye, looking back from where you were coming just to see it in reverse, so to speak, and seeing those cairns will get you to the archaeological site itself. There will be times you DO have to skirt some exposed areas and the drop-off is daunting IF you are leery or just plain afraid of heights! Count me as one of the latter! If you keep following the cairns, you'll eventually find a section where the trail basically doubles back on itself. Now comes a true scramble up to the site which is roped off. This was one of the more photographed sections of Canyonlands years back but is now off limits thanks to hikers who just don't care. The view out toward the canyons is worth the effort of the hike. Again, how difficult this trail is depends entirely on what you consider moderate or strenuous. I know there are folks who have hiked False Kiva and claimed it to be easy! My wife and I are avid hikers, in decently good shape but, as I said before, in our late 60s. I would rate the main part of the hike as moderate but I really like a hike with some challenges like False Kiva offers. If you are a serious hiker, wearing good, sturdy hiking boots/shoes, know how to "read" signs of a trail that kind of disappeared on you at certain times, who respects the outdoors, talk to a ranger. This hike is well worth the effort.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Scoutmaster936 wrote a review Apr 2019
Longwood, Florida83 contributions86 helpful votes
Check with Rangers before attempting to visit. This site was closed in Fall of 2018 due to vandalism and has not yet been reopened as of this time (April 2019)
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Date of experience: April 2019
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suzieFortCollins wrote a review Apr 2018
Fort Collins860 contributions207 helpful votes
First, the trail is not on park maps, so it isn't marked, BUT that being said there is a well marked trail to the kiva. Even though this is a short hike you climb up and down a lot over ledges and rocks, so be prepared. The kiva sits high in an alcove and the the views from the site are unbelievably stunning.
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Date of experience: March 2018
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Hawtrip07 wrote a review Oct 2017
Houston, Texas65 contributions66 helpful votes
Reading there were no map or markings on the trail to False Kiva, I was nervous hiking on this trail. But I was wrong. There are plenty of cairns along the route. I even added some to help other fellow hikers. I believed without the cairns, it will be very difficult to find it. It started as flat land and then big rocks and small rocks along the way. I recommended a hiking stick to help climbing up the rocks, water, and hat. There are not many shades on the hike. I did it late in October and it was still hot without much shade. Some area are steep, but it is doable. Just take it slow and rest along the way. In my opinion, you don't have to be fit but flexible as there are big rocks to climb on. Very beautiful and serene. There is a sacred area that was blocked off. Not sure if we allow to go in the rock circle, but there were plenty of shoe prints on the sand. I saw a family with 2 little kids make it there.
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Date of experience: October 2017
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