Utah Trails
San Rafael Knob
Length: About 7 miles round trip
Difficulty: Strenuous
Photo Tour: - View

Description: The San Rafael Knob is the highest point in the San Rafael Swell. From the top you have amazing views out over some of the most ruggedly beautiful parts of the Swell. The scenery is amazing, with towering cliffs and majestic slickrock buttes rivaling the famous formations in Zion National Park.

Spring and fall are the best times to do this hike. Some of our photos show snow - but it is usally gone by April.

Justensen Flat
Devils Canyon roughly parallels I-70 on the west side of the Swell. Take Exit 114 (Moore Cutoff) and drive south from the freeway onto Justensen Flat. The road winds east and then south as it drops down the cliff face into Devils Canyon. (This is sometimes called the Copper Globe Mine Road). The section of road down the cliff is very rough and requires serious 4-Wheel-Drive. If you can't drive all the way down, park and hike the short distance to the bottom of the canyon.

The trailhead is in the bottom of Devils Canyon, where the road crosses the wash. It also serves hikers going east or west in Devils Canyon.

San Rafael Knob
You can follow an old road overland to the base of the Knob. The terrain is relatively easy but you will need route finding skills and a good topographical map. From the trailhead, cross Devils Canyon and follow the road south. Take the first track forking east and follow it to the north side of the Knob. Ascend the highest ridge on the north side of the Knob and follow the ridgeline to the base of the slickrock in the middle of the upper portion of the Knob. Circle east by walking ledges to get around to the south side. There you will find you can ascend ledges until you reach the top. Views from the top are incredible.

Devils Canyon
Alternately, you can approach the Knob by hiking up Devils Canyon. Exit the canyon and ascend the ridge that runs north to the Knob. Once on top that ridge, follow the instructions above to ascend the Knob. You can return to the trailhead by hiking down Devils Canyon, but most people prefer to go overland, following the easy track described above.