San Rafeal Swell Reef and Moonshine Little Spotted Wolf Utah in 360 Degrees


San Rafael Swell Reef and 

Little Spotted Wolf Canyon in the Moonshine Tanks Area in 360 Degrees

Every time we drive into the San Rafael Swell, we drive by the Reef, and I just stare at how cool and unique the Reef section of the Swell is.  It is an area of the earth that the Earth's plates pushing against each other has caused  it to lift up out of the ground.   As I stood before the Swell it seriously looks like God stood above and said RISE, and the ground below came right up, and the mountains on the right also  rose  toward God, and the mountains on the left also rose up to God, and created a masterpiece.
May we also realize that God is telling us to RISE, and if we rise to the challenge he will also make masterpieces out of us and our lives.

Todd did an awesome 360 degree Arial Panorama from his drone above the San Rafael Swell. 

It is jaw dropping the view from the air.  How you can literally see layer after layer of the earth that has been tilted on its axis and risen up out of the ground. Make sure you move it around so you can see all 360 degrees of this amazing area. 

  • 4 hours South of SLC - 1 hour min South West of Green River
  • Great for ALL Ages
  • The San Rafael Swell is unbelievably amazing and inspiring.  It was a treat to find this Slot Canyon in such a gorgeous area.    
  • Around 1-2 miles  depending on how long you want to go.
  • There is a natural Arch up high in this slot canyon you should search for. 
  • About 1620 feet elevation
  • Easy Hike - Level 2

Below is a Video of the Reef Showing Both sides Rising to a point in the air above the center one.  It is fun to see the whole range and see this area UPWARD RISE.

San Rafael Swell Reef Rising up out of the ground.Utah
San Rafael Swell Reef Rising up out of the ground.

As we were exploring the Reef, I found that it has a really amazing slot canyon right into the Reef.  I have had long discussions on the name of this canyon, and it really ended up being a long mess.  There is a big label on my Gaia Map saying this area is Moonshine Tanks, but on Google Maps, Moon Shine Tanks looks like it might be more South, or a general for this whole area.  A member on Bogley said that this is called Little Spotted Wolf Canyon, but when looking it up on Google Maps the Little Spotted Wolf canyon is North of I-50 about 20 miles and there is a Park Kiosk there saying that canyon is Spotted Wolf Canyon.  They say this is called LITTLE spotted wolf canyon which is different, but it confused me like crazy, and it definitely has confused Google Maps.  I have emailed the San Rafael Park Service to get a sign on this canyon to hopefully clear things up.  Hopefully it will happen.
So whether it is LITTLE Spotted Wolf canyon, or Moon Shine Tanks, we do know that this area was popular with bootleggers during the prohibition - thus its name. for this area and the area south of here.  Besides this canyon having Remnants from the Bootleggers and their activities, it also had a Sheep Bridge that was used to cross sheep up high across the canyon.  I did not see it, but it was still around in 1990.  I am not sure if I missed it, or if it is gone, but it would definitely be a fun find.  Below is a picture of the Slot Canyon I am heading into.
Pretty Pool Areas that would be gorgeous just after a storm just  outside the beginning of the Slot Canyon
Pretty Pool Areas that would be gorgeous just after a storm just  outside the beginning of the Slot Canyon

As I entered the Slot to Moonshine Tanks, there is a section of the wall that had little pocket size caves in the rock, and someone had found rocks just the right size for each pocket and built a fun village of rocks on the wall.  It was adorable.

Little Rock Village in the Rock Pockets in the cliff wall on the way into Moon Shine Tanks Slot Canyon.
Little Rock Village in the Rock Pockets in the cliff wall on the way into Moon Shine Tanks Slot Canyon.

360 Degree Walk by the Rock Village and into the Moon Shine Tanks Slot Canyon

VIDEO of cute Rock Village in Moon Shine Tanks Canyon

If you like this Pock Mark type Canyon, Crack Canyon also in San Rafael Swell is also FABULOUS!  One of my favorite Slot Canyons in this area. Definitely check it out when you are done here!  :)
Link for Crack Canyon


To get to this hike from Green River, Utah you go on UT24  to road 1010 by milepost 136 (opposite the side road to Goblin Valley.) It is a decent road for about the first 30 miles, but might not be a decent road after a storm.
Here is a Google Map link to the Trail Head.
 Link to Trailhead

 View of Trail Head

I think this Google Earth View might help to see it.  The Blue Line on the Bottom is my Google Earth Trail, and the Blue line on the top is I-70/50.  Here is the Link.  Of course you can click on any section of the blue line to see more of this area in 360 degrees.
 Moon Shine Tanks Google Earth Link

As far as difficulty goes, it is a super easy hike.  If slot canyons intimidate you, this is a really great place to start, for this is just amazing without getting too narrow or difficult.  The only difficult thing will be finding the trail head.
First Section of the Moon Shine Tanks or Little Spotted Wolf  Slot Canyon.  I love the vertical Column on the left.
First Section of the Moon Shine Tanks or Little Spotted Wolf  Slot Canyon.  I love the vertical Column on the left. 

360 Degree Google Earth Street View Trail at the above section of the trail.  You just nee to rotate it around to see the Vertical Column Rock above. 

Video from in Moon Shine Tanks Canyon or Little Spotted Wolf Canyon 

Video above is from the section in the photo below.

Black Trail from Waterfall in the Middle Left of the picture in the Moon Shine Tanks Slot Canyon in the San Rafael Swell Reef
Black Trail from Waterfall in the Middle Left of the picture.

Here is a great post of this Moon Shine Tanks area with the Spring Flowers.  Such a fun variety, I am sad I missed them in bloom.
 Salt Lake Tribune article on San Rafael

I love how the above ground is Grey and orange with white veins running through it, and in front of me there is the most interesting section of pock marks in the cliff that I am not sure what caused such an interesting formation.

If you are a huge adventure buff, and are really great at navigating up and down 4-7 foot ups and downs and are at least a level 4 hiker, Ding and Dang Canyon is also in the San Rafael Swell and is super amazing, but TOUGH.  You can also check that out here when you are done with reading this one!
Link for Ding and Dang Slot Canyon

360 Google Earth Trail of a section of this Hike

Interesting White ground on the trail of Moon Shine Tanks

If you like this area, try these books, and cute mug with the reef on it.

Another website with some good information about the hike.

The Interesting Diagonal Lines from the Swell Pushing up and this San Rafael Swell being pushed up and the Edge Reef Area going up diagonally up on top of the other tectonic plate in the earth. 

If you liked this hike you should Definitely check out these other amazing hikes in the San Rafael Swell Area

Spirit Arch and Petroglyph Canyon

This hike is amazing.   Definitely check this one out.
 Link to Spirit Arch Post



Super Cool and Kid Friendly Slot Canyon.  Great for all ages.  Only draw back is that it can get busy. 

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