Ouray, Utah: Fantasy Canyon

Small, but packed. Known locally as "Hades Pit," among other colorful names. A half-mile trail loops past formations such as Screaming Man and Alien Head.

228 North 850 West, Ouray, UT
Roughly 27 miles southeast of Vernal. Travel east out of Vernal on US 40 through Naples. Follow the sign marked "Book Cliffs Access." Continue south, crossing the Green River after seven miles; from this point continue on for another 12 miles until you see a sign on the left for Fantasy Canyon. Follow the small signs along this dirt road until you arrive at the Fantasy Canyon parking area. Do not attempt this clay road during or after a rain, since even a four wheel drive vehicle will slide right off the road's edge. Bring a full can of gas and extra water, and be prepared to survive an emergency.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Fantasy Canyon

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Fantasy Canyon wild horses.

Fantasy Canyon

Isolated, but not hard to get to. Roads everywhere from the oil field work but improvements have been made. The average SUV will have no trouble getting there. Signage to find it was good. The grandkids loved it! We even saw wild horses.

[Michael Zimmer, 05/23/2021]

Fantasy Canyon.

Fantasy Canyon

Doable but mildly terrifying in a 2WD normal clearance car. Take the Roadside-recommended route from Vernal; approaching from the east (64 to 45 to South Deseret Power Plant Rd E.) is much more confusing and difficult. No signs to Fantasy Canyon from this side and many, many small oil service roads to choose from (i.e. get lost on). These roads consist of coarse gravel with car-scraping rocky washes. Some contained flowing water and soft sand even though the rest of the area was dry, so beware. Eventually made it to the western side and followed signs, at which point driving was a relative breeze. Good news is most of the area has some cell phone service due to the industry presence, so despite the hell-on-earth appearance, it could be a lot more dangerous.

Bring lots of water and positive thinking about your tires, and I strongly recommend against locking yourself out of your car. I tried that version of the experience once; did not enjoy.

Fantasy Canyon is literally the most terrifying place I've ever been, by the way.

[Jane, 06/19/2014]

May 2021: Photo added.

Fantasy Canyon Teapot Formation.

Fantasy Canyon

Fantasy Canyon is a one city block size area of sandstone sculptured by time and weather into giant teapots, camels, and almost anything else you can imagine. Located on the corner of an Indian reservation, it is best reached in a high clearance vehicle following signs on the oilfield dirt roads.

[Mary Meinen, 06/15/2005]

Known locally as "Hades Pit," among other colorful names. Two of its named formations include Screaming Man and Alien Head.

Nearby Offbeat Places

1940s Roadside Dinosaur1940s Roadside Dinosaur, Jensen, UT - 22 mi.
Formerly Rideable DinosaurFormerly Rideable Dinosaur, Jensen, UT - 26 mi.
Stegosaurus from NY World's FairStegosaurus from NY World's Fair, Jensen, UT - 27 mi.
In the region:
Dine-A-Ville Pink Dinosaur, Vernal, UT - 28 mi.

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