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Hanksville, Utah: Where to Hike, What to See (Travel Guide)

If you’re looking for a rugged, off the beaten path desert adventure destination, then prepare to fall in love with Hanksville, Utah. Located in the heart of Southern Utah’s canyon country, Hanksville is a tiny, unassuming town that serves as the gateway to endless epic outdoor adventures. 

I’ve been to Hanksville over a dozen times and frequently hike and camp in the surrounding area. Because I’ve had the opportunity to explore the area during different times of the year, I feel confident sharing a guide to visiting Hanksville. 

As you go through this guide, keep in mind that there’s SO MUCH to explore in this area of Southern Utah. It’s impossible to see or do everything in one trip, unless you make the area your home base for a couple of weeks. This guide is designed to help you plan YOUR ideal itinerary for Hanksville based on your interests, vehicle, hiking skill level, and sense of adventure.

Woman sitting on a rock outcropping overlooking the Utah badlands around Hanksville, Utah at Moonscape Overlook.

How to Get to Hanksville, Utah

Hanksville is just over 3 ½ hours from Salt Lake City, Utah, and just under 2 ½ hours from Grand Junction, Colorado, by car.

To Get to Hanksville From Salt Lake City:

To get to Hanksville from Salt Lake City, head south on I-15 towards Spanish Valley, Utah. From there, take U.S. 6 south towards Green River. When you reach the intersection with I-70, head west to exit 149. From the exit, U.S. 24 will take you past the San Rafael Swell and Goblin Valley State Park towards Hanksville.

To Get to Hanksville From Grand Junction:

Hanksville is an easy drive from Grand Junction, Colorado. Take I-70 west out of Colorado towards Green River, Utah. Continue past Green River to exit 149. From there you’ll exit onto U.S. 24, which will take you past the San Rafael Swell and Goblin Valley State Park to Hanksville.

Find Affordable Flight to Salt Lake City:

Rent a Car to Road Trip to Hanksville:

The Best Time of Year to Visit Hanksville, Utah

You can visit Hanksville year-round, but in my opinion, the best times of year to visit are during the spring, fall, and winter. Summers in Hanksville (June-early September) can be unbearably hot and the barren desert environment doesn’t provide much vegetation for shade. The only real reprieve from the heat are the deep, sinuous slot canyons in the area, and the Henry Mountains. When the weather is nice, summer can be an ideal time to explore slot canyons, however afternoon monsoons are common and can trigger flash floods this time of year.

The weather in Hanksville is most pleasant during the spring (March-May) and fall (late September-November). This is also the most “popular” time of year to visit, however there are so many places to explore around canyon country that you can still easily find solitude if you know where to look for it.

Winter (December-February) in Hanksville, Utah, is fairly cold. Snow is also possible, also it’s usually not heavy. This is a great time of year to visit Southern Utah if you’re looking to avoid the crowds. Even though it’s chilly, hiking around Hanksville in the winter can be quite pleasant if you dress properly. Sunsets in the winter are also usually extra colorful because the sun hangs lower in the sky.

A pink and purple sunset over Factory Butte and the Henry Mountains outside of Hanksville, Utah.

Recreating Responsibly in Hanksville, Utah

It’s hard to accurately describe how remote Hanksville, Utah, is unless you’ve been there. The town is very small and rural, and the surrounding area is rugged and largely undeveloped. It’s important to be prepared when visiting Hanksville, not only for your personal safety, but to help minimize your impact on the environment. Here’s how you can recreate responsibly while visiting Hanksville, Utah:

Leave No Trace

Follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles. This means:

  1. Plan ahead & prepare. Hiking in the desert comes with unique considerations, so make sure you research your trails and pack appropriately. Carrying a physical map is ESSENTIAL when exploring Utah’s canyon country. Make sure that you have the right vehicle for the roads you plan on driving. There are plenty of places that can be accessed with a passenger car, but many backroads require a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle and experienced driver.
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces. Stay on trails or other durable surfaces like slickrock and dry washes.
  3. Dispose of waste properly. Pack out all waste and trash, including human waste and food scraps.
  4. Leave what you find. Don’t carve into, take, or stack rocks.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts. Check for fire bans and practice campfire safety. This means creating your campfire in an existing fire ring; making sure the fire is attended and doesn’t get out of control; and making sure the fire is out completely (stir the ashes until they are cool to the touch).
  6. Respect wildlife. Never feed wildlife and make sure to maintain a safe distance. Lizards are the most common animals that you will encounter. There are snakes out there, but they’re not as prevalent as you might expect them to be in the desert. 
  7. Be considerate of others. Fortunately, Hanksville provides plenty of opportunities for solitude, so you shouldn’t run into conflicts. If you do encounter others, wear headphones instead of blasting music over a bluetooth speaker. Remember uphill hikers have the right of way.

The member-driven Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. This copyrighted information has been reprinted with permission from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

A woman overlooks the Green River and Utah's canyon country near Hanksville.

Keep Your Dog Under Control

Most of the trails on this list are located on BLM land where regulations require dogs to be “under control” at all times. This means either keeping your dog on a leash (the preferred method), or under strict vocal control. There are a few areas that explicitly require dogs to be kept on-leash (or that don’t allow dogs at all).

If your dog doesn’t have strong recall they should always be kept on-leash. Always keep a leash handy while hiking with your dog off-leash in case you encounter other dogs on-leash or small children. While large predators aren’t a concern, lizards and snakes are common during warmer months. Only you know whether your dog can hike off-leash responsibly, but you will likely see off-leash dogs around Hanksville so I want you to be prepared!

Woman in black dress with black hat reaching back and holding a man's hands while also holding a leash with a black dog while hiking through orange hoodoos in Goblin Valley State Park.
Goblin Valley State Park (like all Utah State Parks) requires dogs to be leashed at all times!

Pack out pet waste!

Remember to always pack out pet waste. Never leave poop bags on the side of the trail, even if you plan to come back for it later. This is littering and encourages others to do the same. Carry pet waste with you back to the trailhead and dispose of it properly!

Respect Archaeological Sites

This guide does not include any archaeological sites, however there are many petroglyphs and other sites located near Hanksville that you may encounter on your adventures. These sites are protected by federal laws, including, but not limited to, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Damaging, defacing, or destroying archaeological sites is a federal crime. Please treat the land and any archaeological sites with respect.

Here are some best practices when visiting an archaeological site:

  • Never sit, touch, lean, or stand on walls of archaeological sites. 
  • Don’t touch petroglyphs and pictographs (the oils from your fingers can break them down faster). 
  • Leave all artifacts where you find them. 
  • Don’t allow pets or small children in archaeological sites. 
  • Don’t share locations or coordinates of archaeological sites online.

Petroglyphs on a rock wall in southern Utah.

Don’t Bust the Crust!

A lot of the desert around Hanksville is covered in biological soil crust, otherwise known as cryptobiotic soil. Cryptobiotic soil can be identified by its knobby black crust that plays a critical role in preventing erosion in the desert. It is also extremely delicate. It can take years to decades to recover from damage, so it’s important to stay on developed trails, or travel over durable surfaces like dry washes or slickrock, to avoid disrupting the cryptobiotic soil!

Stay Slot Canyon Safe

Before you head out on a slot canyon hike, it’s incredibly important to be prepared and know the risks, including flash floods. All of the slot canyons in this guide are non-technical slot canyons. This means that you do not need canyoneering gear, like ropes, a harness, and helmet, to navigate through them. However, scrambling is often required and because flash floods can change the conditions in a slot canyon, the difficulty may change over time.

Flash floods can be triggered from rain MILES away from where you’re hiking. Even if there are blue skies above you, if you see storm clouds in the distance you should avoid entering a slot canyon. Flash floods are usually most common during monsoon season in the summer, but they can happen any time of year with the right conditions.

Woman stands on a rock in a tall sandstone slot canyon in southern Utah near Hanksville.
See the log at the top of the photo? That’s what flash floods can do!

Best Hikes Near Hanksville, Utah

Hanksville is the jumping off point for a ton of hiking trails and canyons to explore. In addition to the 8 hikes included here, you can find more scenic hiking trails in nearby Capitol Reef National Park. If you’re looking for more rugged and off-the-beaten path hiking trails and canyons to explore near Hanksville, I highly recommend picking up some Michael Kelsey guidebooks.

The hikes included here are well-documented and can be found on AllTrails, but many are extremely remote, so it’s important to do additional research and come fully prepared with the 10 essentials.

Woman stands at the bottom of a large alcove with 5 unique arches near Hanksville, Utah.

1. Little Wild Horse & Bell Canyon

There are a seemingly endless number of slot canyons around Hanksville in the San Rafael Swell, so it can be overwhelming deciding where to go. Little Wild Horse & Bell Canyon is the quintessential non-technical slot canyon hike in the area. Because the canyons are well-trodden and easy to navigate, they make for a great introduction to exploring slot canyons. 

While there is a little bit of scrambling required if you want to complete the full loop though Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyon, it’s not too difficult. If you’re looking for an easier hike, then opt for an out-and-back through Little Wild Horse Canyon. You can access some of the most photogenic portions of the canyon before things get too difficult. Be aware, both canyons are prone to flash floods, so do not attempt this hike if rain is ANYWHERE in the vicinity!

Trail Stats for Little Wild Horse & Bell Canyon

Location: BLM land near Hanksville

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy-moderate. This can be a popular hike, but the parking lot is fairly big, so it can accommodate a fair number of vehicles.

Distance: 8 miles (loop)

Elevation Gain: 800 ft.

Difficulty: Moderate (6.5-7.5/10)

Estimated Hike Time: 4-6 hours

Fee: None

Dog-Friendly?: Yes, however dogs may find the scrambling sections challenging if they don’t have experience with it.

Best Time of Year to Hike: Year-round, however be aware of flash flood risks during monsoon season during the summer!

AllTrails Link

Woman hiking in a sandstone slot canyon in Southern Utah during the winter.

2. Little Wild Horse Window

Wild Horse Window (also known as Skylight Arch) is a unique geologic formation that can be accessed with a short hike just outside of Goblin Valley State Park. The majority of the hike to Wild Horse Window is across a slickrock slope that has a couple of steep pitches.

After hiking to the top of the slickrock, you’ll find Wild Horse Window located at the back of a large sandstone alcove. The trail packs a lot of bang for such a short hike, which makes it a great option is you’re traveling to Hanksville with kids. 

Trail Stats for Little Wild Horse Window

Location: BLM land near Hanksville

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Moderate. It’s a dirt road out to the trailhead and there isn’t much parking available.

Distance: 2 miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 315 ft.

Difficulty: Easy (3-4/10)

Estimated Hike Time: 1-1 ½ hours

Best Time of Year to Hike: Fall, winter, and spring.

Fee: None

Dog-Friendly?: Yes.

AllTrails Link

A woman and black dog hike under a large sandstone alcove with a large arch inside it.

3. The Goblin’s Lair

Would you dare to enter the Goblin’s Lair (aka the Chamber of the Basilisk)? This unique hike in Goblin Valley State Park takes you across a moonscape-esque landscape to a deep crevice known as the Goblin’s Lair. You can downclimb into the lair if you’re brave, or you can just enjoy the view from the entrance.

Most people who visit Goblin Valley State Park spend their time exploring the hoodoos, so hiking to the Goblin’s Lair is a great way to get off the beaten path and away from any crowds. If you’re up for even more of an adventure, you can rappel into the Goblin’s Lair from above.

Trail Stats for Goblin’s Lair

Location: Goblin Valley State Park

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy. There’s plenty of parking at Goblin Valley State Park.

Distance: 2.3 miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 200 ft.

Difficulty: Easy-moderate (3-4/10)

Estimated Hike Time: 1-2 hours

Fee: $20/vehicle or use a Utah State Park pass.

Dog-Friendly?: Yes, dogs must be leashed.

Best Time of Year to Hike: Fall, winter, and spring.

AllTrails Link

4. Colonnade Arch

One hike, five arches. Colonnade Arch (aka Five Hole Arch) is one of the most unique and visually striking geologic formations in Southern Utah. Tucked deep inside an alcove overlooking the Green River, Colonnade Arch is a great hike for photographers exploring canyon country. Hiking to Colonnade Arch is a true desert adventure and worth the journey if you’re prepared and have some desert hiking experience.

The drive out to Colonnade Arch is long and challenging, and should only  be undertaken with a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle. From the parking lot, the trail traverses a slickrock bench before dropping down and looping around to the star of the hike, Colonnade Arch. When I hiked to Colonnade Arch there were plenty of cairns to mark the trail, but it can be tricky to follow, so make sure you have a map.

Man and dog hike across slickrock towards Colonnade Arch, a rock formation with 5 unique arches.
Colonnade Arch from a distance.

Trail Stats for Colonnade Arch

Location: BLM land near Hanksville

Trailhead Location: Google maps 4×4 VEHICLE REQUIRED!

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Difficult. A high-clearance, 4WD vehicle is required to access the trailhead. You can park further away if you don’t have the right vehicle, but this will add significant mileage to the hike.

Distance: ~3 miles

Elevation Gain: 300 ft.

Difficulty: Easy (3-4/10) (route-finding is more difficult than the hike itself)

Estimated Hike Time: 1 ½-2 hours (trust me, you’re going to want to spend time at the arches!) 

Best Time of Year to Hike: Fall, winter, and spring.

Fee: None

Dog-Friendly?: Yes.

AllTrails Link

Multiple arches overlooking canyon country outside of Hanksville, Utah at Colonnade Arch.
Looking out from inside Colonnade Arch.

5. Happy Canyon

The trek to Happy Canyon is long, but the views from inside this non-technical slot canyon make the journey well worth it. But be aware, Happy Canyon is not a casual day hike. You need to be well prepared for both the drive and hike, and plan to devote two days for your objective. Many people camp near the trailhead because of the time it takes to drive out from Hanksville.

The beginning of the trail follows an old mining road before dropping down to the Dirty Devil River. After fording the river you’ll enter the mouth of Happy Canyon. A short, easy hike takes you to a photogenic slot canyon that is often compared to the popular Antelope Canyon on the Navajo Nation.

If you’re thinking of making the trek, please do additional research. I have a detailed trip report from hiking to Happy Canyon that you can read HERE.

Trail Stats for Happy Canyon

Location: BLM land near Hanksville

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Very difficult. The drive to the main trailhead to hike to Happy Canyon is very remote and requires high-clearance and 4WD. There are also some tight switchbacks and narrow sections, so oversized vehicles aren’t recommended.

Distance: 8-12 miles depending on where you park

Elevation Gain: I tracked 1,867 ft.

Difficulty: Moderate-difficult (7-8/10).

Estimated Hike Time: at least 6 hours to truly enjoy Happy Canyon

Best Time of Year to Hike: Spring, summer, and fall.

Fee: None

Dog-Friendly?: Yes.

AllTrails Link

A woman in a black hat stands in a slot canyon in southern Utah near Hanksville.

6. Leprechaun Canyon

Leprechaun Canyon is an easy, family-friendly slot canyon located near Hanksville. The trailhead for Leprechaun Canyon is right along the highway, so it’s accessible for any vehicle. While the hike out to the canyon is short and easy, it’s very important to stay on the existing, well-defined, sandy trails and off the cryptobiotic soil in the area! 

Once inside Leprechaun Canyon you can’t hike very far before you get squeezed out by the slot canyon, but the most photogenic views are near the mouth of the canyon. If you have canyoneering experience and proper gear you can access Leprechaun Canyon from above.

Trail Stats for Leprechaun Canyon

Location: Fiddlers Butte Wilderness Study Area

Trailhead Location: Google maps (Parking is on the left side of the road if driving south from Hanksville.)

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy. Parking is right next to the highway.

Distance: 2.2 miles out-and-back

Elevation Gain: 150 ft.

Difficulty: Easy (2.5-3.5/10).

Estimated Hike Time: 1 hour

Best Time of Year to Hike: Any.

Fee: None

Dog-Friendly?: Yes.

AllTrails Link

Woman stands at the mouth of a tall orange slot canyon near Hanksville, Utah.

7. Mt. Ellen

While the majority of the environment around Hanksville, Utah, is desert, the nearby Henry Mountains provide some relief from the heat during the summer. The Henrys rise up to over 11,500 ft. at the summit of Mt. Ellen, one of Utah’s 8 ultra prominent peaks (aka mountains with more than 1,500m of prominence).

The entire hike to the summit of Mt. Ellen is above treeline, so it’s very exposed like many of the desert hikes around Hanksville. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen! In addition to summiting Mt. Ellen, you will also pass the summit of Mount Ellen on this hike. As far as mountains go, climbing Mt. Ellen is fairly easy (it’s a Class 1 route to the summit). However, there’s a lot of elevation gain and climbing any mountain is difficult, so it’s definitely considered a difficult hike. The terrain is very rocky, which adds to the challenge.

Trail Stats for Mt. Ellen

Location: BLM land near Hanksville

Trailhead Location: Google maps (Bull Creek Pass)

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Moderate. It’s a long drive back into the Henrys in order to get to the trailhead, but can be driven with a 2WD vehicle as long as it’s dry.

Distance: 5.6 miles out-and-back

Elevation Gain: 1,850 ft.

Difficulty: Difficult (8-9/10).

Estimated Hike Time: 3-4 hours.

Best Time of Year to Hike: Fall and spring.

Fee: None

Dog-Friendly?: Yes.

AllTrails Link

Woman stands on the summit of a mountain she climber overlooking the desert around Hanksville, Utah.

8. Crack Canyon

If you’ve hiked Little Wild Horse & Bell Canyon and are looking for a slot canyon that is a bit more challenging, then check out Crack Canyon. Most people hike Crack Canyon as an out-and-back hike from Behind the Reef Road, where you can also find dispersed camping.

There are a number of obstacles in Crack Canyon. When I hiked it there were a couple of beams to help with some of the climbs, but the conditions in the canyon can change with every flash flood, so don’t rely on something being there based on someone else’s trip report. While Crack Canyon is considered a non-technical slot canyon, having a handline available can be helpful in certain areas. I only felt comfortable hiking a few miles into the canyon before turning back.

Trail Stats for Crack Canyon

Location: Crack Canyon Wilderness

Trailhead Location: Google maps (You can continue driving into the canyon and park before reaching the Wilderness boundary.)

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Difficult. You need a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle to access the trailhead, or you can park closer to Behind the Reef Road.

Distance: 4-5 miles out-and-back

Elevation Gain: 350 ft.

Difficulty: Difficult (7-8/10)

Estimated Hike Time: 2-3 hours.

Best Time of Year to Hike: Fall, winter, and spring.

Fee: None.

Dog-Friendly?: Technically yes, but dogs are not recommended due to the extent of the scrambling required.

AllTrails Link

Woman in winter hiking attire stands under a sandstone bridge in a slot canyon in the San Rafael Swell.

Things to Do Near Hanksville, Utah

1. Factory Butte

One of the most scenic attractions near Hanksville, Utah, is Factory Butte. Factory Butte is a very popular area for motorized recreation and photographers who want to capture the unique geologic formation. Dirt bikers and OHV’ers looking for legal, off-trail adventures will have a blast exploring Swing Arm City OHV area.

Pink sunset in front of Factory Butte and the Henry Mountains in Southern Utah near Hanksville.

2. Goblin Valley State Park

Located approximately 30 minutes from Hanksville, Goblin Valley State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the area. The unique landscape is home to mini sandstone hoodoos that visitors can explore freely. Goblin Valley State Park is dog-friendly and a great place to visit with kids of all ages. A day-use pass for Goblin Valley State Park is $20/vehicle.

Woman in a long black dress and black hat overlooking sandstone hoodoos in Goblin Valley State Park.

3. Moonscape Overlook

Take in the scenic desert badlands near Hanksville from Moonscape Overlook. Located near Factory Butte, this Instagram-worthy viewpoint provides sweeping views of the stark desert landscape with the Henry Mountains in the distance. Be aware, the rock around Moonscape Overlook is incredibly fragile, so be careful venturing too close to the edge.

Overlook of the desert badlands and mountains near Hanksville, Utah.

4. Bentonite Hills

The Bentonite Hills are located between Hanksville and Capitol Reef National Park in the Caineville Desert. These colorful bentonite clay hills are popular with photographers looking to capture the unique landscape. The area is so otherworldly that the Mars Desert Research Station nearby.

5. Temple Mountain & The San Rafael Swell

If you drive into Hanksville from Green River it’s hard to miss the San Rafael Swell Reef. This area of Southern Utah is home to countless slot canyons, unique rock formations, and a rich history. You can find evidence of the Fremont, Paiute, and Ute peoples, along with reminders of the uranium mining boom of the 20th century throughout the San Rafael Swell.   

Temple Mountain shares the same access road from the highway as Goblin Valley State Park. The Temple Mountain area of the San Rafael Swell is a popular area for OHV’ers and campers. This is an area that my husband and I frequently visit because there’s SO much to explore and it’s easy to get away from the crowds.  

Pink sunset overlooking a rock reef in the San Rafael Swell in Utah.

6. Henry Mountains

If you look out towards the southwest from Hanksville it’s hard to miss the Henry Mountains. The Henry Mountains are so remote that they were the last place in the contiguous United States to be surveyed by the U.S. Geological Service. 

There aren’t many developed trails or roads in the Henry Mountains, which adds to this mountain range’s illusive allure. Hunting is one of the most popular activities in the Henry Mountains because it’s home to trophy elk, however I’ve heard that it’s incredibly difficult to pull a tag. Camping and hiking to the summit of Mt. Ellen, which is described above, are other popular activities in the Henrys.

woman jumping in a purple sleeping bag suit in the mountains at sunset

7. Lake Powell

The construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in the 1950s led to the formation of Lake Powell in Southern Utah. What was once one of the most scenic canyons in the world by those who knew it, is now drowned under a recreation mecca that serves as a key source of energy and water storage in the Southwest. Lake Powell is within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which is managed by the National Park Service.

To get to the closest marina on Lake Powell from Hanksville, head south on UT-95 to UT-276 to Bullfrog Marina. Water levels on Lake Powell have reached record lows in recent years, which has put a strain on recreation access in certain areas. The future of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam are uncertain, so enjoy it while you can!

8. Capitol Reef National Park

Located approximately 30 minutes from Hanksville, Utah, Capitol Reef National Park is a can’t miss destination in Southern Utah. In my opinion, Capitol Reef is the most underrated of Utah’s Mighty Five. The park is home to dozens of scenic desert hikes that feature everything from slot canyons, to arches, to breathtaking vistas. 

Capitol Reef National Park is divided into 3 districts. The Fruita District is the most accessible and located along the highway on UT-24. The Waterpocket Fold and Cathedral Valley Districts are more remote and require a high-clearance vehicle to access, but they’re worth a visit if you have the time during your trip.

Woman runs across a large sandstone bridge while hiking in Capitol Reef National Park.

9. The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park

When I say the Maze is remote, I mean it’s REMOTE. If you’re heading out to this area of Canyonlands National Park you need to do additional research in order to prepare for your trip. You should be prepared to be fully self-sufficient during your trip, which includes carrying extra gas. 

Stopping at the Hans Flat Ranger Station is a must to get up to date road conditions before you head out. Permits are also required for all overnight trips. You can learn more about planning your trip HERE.

I haven’t had the opportunity to make it out to the Maze District yet, so I can’t provide personal recommendations. However, my husband went on a backpacking trip in the Maze during college and he’s eager to get back out there and explore more of this magical and secluded area of Utah.

Where to Stay in Hanksville, Utah


Lodging is extremely limited in Hanksville. There is currently one hotel in town, along with a handful of cabin rentals/Airbnbs in the area. For more hotel options, head to Torrey or Green River.

Hotels & Cabins in Hanksville:

  • Whispering Sands Motel
  • Duke’s RV Park
  • Muddy Creek Mining Company


While hotels are limited, there’s no shortage of camping around Hanksville, Utah, which makes it a great spot for a last-minute camping trip. You can find dispersed camping on most of the BLM land surrounding Hanksville. Be sure to check local regulations and choose campsites that have been previously camped in.

If you’re dispersed camping you need to be prepared to be fully self-sufficient. This means packing out all trash and waste, including human waste. The environment around Hanksville is dry and barren, and the soil lacks the bacteria necessary to break down human waste. Bring a WAG bag or portable toilet when camping around Hanksville to pack out your poop.

If you’re looking to stay in a campground where you’ll have access to a bathroom, check out the Goblin Valley Campground in Goblin Valley State Park, which has standard sites, tent sites, and yurts available. You can also stay at the Fruita Campground in the Fruita District of Capitol Reef National Park.

A campsite with a trailer and dog near Hanksville, Utah.

Where to Eat in Hanksville, Utah

Dining options are also fairly limited in Hanksville, but what’s available is worth stopping at. There have been a number of other restaurants that have attempted to establish roots in Hanksville over the years, but many have unfortunately been unsuccessful.

If you’re planning on camping during your trip to Hanksville, I recommend bringing your own groceries. You can find additional dining options in Green River and Torrey, Utah.

Stan’s Burger Shak

There’s nothing better after a long day of hiking through slot canyons than eating a greasy burger (or my preference, a chicken sandwich) with fries and a milkshake. And you can find that in Hanksville, Utah, at Stan’s Burger Shak. This tasty eatery is located inside of a gas station, but don’t let that stop you. Stan’s Burger Shak is home to some of the best food in Hanksville.

Duke’s Slickrock Grill

Hanksville’s premier dining establishment is Duke’s Slickrock Grill. This sit-down restaurant is located at the Whispering Sands Motel, and serves up breakfast and barbeque daily. It’s a great spot if you’re looking for a hearty dinner

Mowgli’s Cafe

Mowgli’s Cafe is Hanksville’s resident coffee shop. Here you can find tasty coffee concoctions, along with tea, pastries, and specialty soda drinks.

A canyon sunset in southern Utah.

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  1. Colby jacksonwy says:

    There’s an actual campground in Hanksville with showers and bathrooms that is on the Slickrock grill property . Nice cabins, tent camping and rv spots

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