Canyonlands – False Kiva
I’ve already posted about my experience taking a picture in crowded circumstances at the Mesa Arch in the morning. I wanted to post about a completely different hike and photo opportunity at Canyonlands – the false Kiva. This is an unadvertised hike – you won’t find it anywhere in the normal documentation of the park. A ranger told us (after we had made the hike) that they have tried to limit the visitors to this site due to the ongoing archeological efforts there. We found it in a book called “Photographing the Southwest – Southern Utah” which not only described the scene, it gave some pretty detailed direction on the hike and how to get there. It took us about 2 hours (roundtrip) and it was a moderate hike with some difficult areas of loose shale and rock. You descend down a canyon and then must climb back up to a huge, domed alcove where there is a kiva which has been built by visitors over the years. Although the kiva itself is not authentic, there are areas within the alcove that are still being excavated and examined. Once in the alcove, you are treated to a great vista of the surrounding mesas and valleys – both above and below. If you ever get a chance to visit the canyonlands, this is a hike worth taking…..
I should add that we only saw two other hikers during our visit to this beautiful site – a father and his daughter. Otherwise, we had the entire experience to ourselves.