FATMAP by Strava

Mill Creek Canyon


An adventurous trail run through a canyon with a waterfall, swimming holes, and ancient petroglyphs.

Trail Running Moderate

12 km
272 m
272 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.4 km
Mill Creek Canyon Map

Minutes from downtown, enjoy this adventurous trail run along Mill Creek with a waterfall, crystal-clear swimming holes, and ancient petroglyphs. There is an endless supply of side trails to be explored, with most visitors turning around far before the trail's eastern terminus.


The trailhead is located at the end of Powerhouse Road, slightly southeast of Moab. An unpaved parking area is suitable for a couple dozen cars, but trailers and larger vehicles may have issue turning around if full. There is no potable water at the parking lot, though there are plenty of gas stations or places in town to stop on the drive there.

As you venture up the trail, expect you will get your feet wet along the way. The trail mostly follows the banks of the creek, but also crosses it along the way. Trekking poles can be useful to help balance on the wet rocks, though a good pair of trail running shoes should also suffice.

Not far into your run, you'll pass a popular waterfall and swimming hole perfect for the entire family. Many visitors, especially younger kids, often climb atop an adjacent rock and make the daring dive into the pool. Should you want to try yourself, save it for the return trip since you're not that far from the trailhead. To continue your run beyond the falls, look for a trail before the waterfall that leads to the left (it's the same path most visitors use to reach the top of the waterfall).

Just beyond the falls, an alcove contains an array of ancient pictographs and petroglyphs according to gjhikes.com. The article also iterates the importance of not touching or otherwise disturbing the artifacts and states that "It is also illegal to dig around archaeological sites or to remove items from them".

With plenty more trail to go, it's up to each runner to decide how far to venture up the canyon. Other than Mill Creek Trail, there are no additional maintained or blazed trails beyond the waterfall, so head as far into the canyon as you want, then retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

Sources: https://www.gjhikes.com/2015/08/mill-creek.html



Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area