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San Rafael Swell Overview

The San Rafael Swell is a large (over a million acres) and remote area located in south central Utah (northwest of Canyonlands NP and northeast of Capitol Reef NP). The swell is somewhat difficult to locate on most maps because much of it is unprotected (although a few wilderness study areas do exist). The area is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which allows mining and ranching on much of the area (none of the mines proved productive, so these appear to be all but abandoned, the impact of ranching, however, is prevalent throughout). Be aware that many areas within the Swell are quite remote: stock up on water and gas ahead of time, and let someone know where you are going and when you'll return.

Like Waterpocket Fold, the San Rafael Swell is another massive  uplifted reef of rock. There are no trails in the area , however, there are many opportunities to hike and explore, particularly in the many deep and narrow canyons. Main access to the Swell is from Interstate Highway 70 and from Highway 24 to the west. All the roads within the Swell are unpaved, however, the main roads are graded once per year and when dry are passable by any passenger car.

The two main sources of information I have used to explore this area are:
Hiking and Exploring Utah's San Rafael Swell, by Michael Kelsey
Canyoneering: The San Rafael Swell, by Steve Allen