• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Scenic. Very few people. Jaw dropping canyon views. Free camping and entrance.

The Wedge and The Little Grand Canyon are located in Eastern Utah and despite their amazing beauty are relatively unknown and overlooked partly due to their close proximity to national parks like Arches and Canyonlands.

With it's massive size, The San Rafael Swell, where The Little Grand Canyon is located, is easily accessible from I-70, Orangeville, Huntington, Castledale, and the numerous other small towns located around it's perimeter. The easiest way to find this area is to drive to Castledale, Utah. When arriving to the small town look for brown BLM signs that say "San Rafael Swell Recreation Area". Follow these signs in to The Swell. To get to Little Grand Canyon follow the signs for "The Wedge Overlook". The area is very well marked despite it not being popular and it even appears in Google Maps if you search for "The Wedge", although cell service can be spotty in the area.

The Wedge features a pit toilet, free camping, picnic areas, and stunning views of the San Rafael River at the bottom of the canyon. There's numerous off-road trails, hiking trails, hunting areas, impressive geologic formations, and Indian art so definitely spend time checking this area out. It's worth more than just a drive up and take a picture type stop.

Camping is first come first serve but I have never seen it the camp sites fill up. When camping you will be treated with dark skies which are great for astro photography and quiet nights making this camping area a great get away from the noise and mayhem in Moab.

About 30 minutes away is the popular Joe's Valley bouldering area located outside the town of Orangeville which also is home to the popular Food Ranch grocery store which offers food and drinks to climbers and explorers. If you're looking for wi-fi and a place to charge your batteries this is it. There is an eating area upstairs in the store with everything you need.

The Little Grand Canyon is one of Utah's secret places that rivals the state's national parks in its beauty and history. Check this place out but be careful, there's bad cell service, roads can be rough, summer is brutally hot and winter is miserably cold.

Pack List

  • Spare tire
  • Survival gear
  • Camping gear
  • Camera
  • Water
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Our first time checking out the wedge was amazing. We've been to the Grand Canyon previously and this was just as mind blowing. I personally loved that it was easier to free climb on the side of the mountains and easier to scale up the sides of formations that brought you to the middle of the canyon, with breathtaking views all around. Four of us really wanted to watch the sunset here because we weren't able to camp this time and it was well worth it. Stunning view from where we were. Beautiful place to check out.

6 months ago
6 months ago

I've lived in Utah for years and driven between Price and Green River many times wondering what lies in the upper San Rafael Swell. Now I know. It's an incredible placing with very few visitors. Allow yourself time to explore the Eastern side of the rim.

10 months ago
10 months ago

We camped here for a couple of nights and were blown away by the scenery. Free camping is a plus, and we actually had decent Verizon & T-Mobile cell service. Don't forget to bring your bike and take on the 21 mile Rim Trail!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

First off, this place is amazing! A little out of the way but worth it. Castle Dale is two words. That's helpful when doing internet searches and using apps and maps. The other thing is that this place is called The Wedge, not Little Grand Canyon. You can get lost if you don't use the correct names and spellings. I did the first time I went here.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

4/23/16-4/24/16 Headed out to The Little Grand Canyon to escape the forecasted rain in Salt Lake City. We had never heard of this area until we saw it on theoutbound.com. As rock enthusiasts and a professional geotech, we enjoyed the awesome views and amazing formations. We camped by the San Rafael Bridge, but headed up to the Wedge to watch sunset. Next time we will camp up top to experience the sunrise views as well. Hiked up a canyon (name?) and enjoyed more beautiful views and exploring for petroglyphs and pictographs on the canyon walls. Met a few people who have been coming to the area for years. We are excited to come back and try out some of their tips and recommendations. Campsites were occupied, but the area wasn't overly crowded. One of the friendliest camping communities we have come across in Utah.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

This use to be a place to find solitude. not anymore. BLM has added so many limitations you can't hardly do anything anymore. you are better off finding somewhere else to go see. the canyon isn't even that great. I mean, what is another crack in the earth?

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Its beautiful! Avoid Easter weekend.

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Derrick Lytle Explorer

- trail running - time lapse photography - filmmaking - adventure -

 @derricklytle derricklytle.tumblr.com

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