Temple Mountain

Temple Mountain

Temple Mountain and "Behind the Reef" is one of the most beautiful areas in the San Rafael Swell. There are gorgeous views of Temple Mountain, looking like some castle out of "Lord of the Rings", and you can get a great perspective of the various canyons cutting through the reef. Temple Mountain was an active area during the uranium mining boom. There are many old mining roads in and past this area. Temple Mountain itself is the highest point in the San Rafael Reef. There's lots to explore in this isolated and beautiful area.



Behind the Reef Road is an access point for some trailheads through the San Rafael Reef, including Wild Horse(not Little Wild Horse) and Crack Canyons. After awhile the road becomes impassable and you cannot travel by car all the way to Little Wild Horse Canyon going southwest. Behind the Reef Road is near the parking area off Temple Mountain Road, once you come to the end of the canyon. You should have a good map with you.

San Rafael Reef Canyons


There is plenty of camping on BLM land in the Temple Mountain and Behind the Reef area. There are no facilities or water at these primitive sites so you have to come prepared. There is a parking area with picnic and toilet facilities shortly after you enter the area on Temple Mountain Road though. For the primitive camping sites, there are many turnoffs right off the different roads. Use already established areas to minimize impact. The sites are nicely spread out. These primitive sites are free. If you want to camp in this area, take Temple Mountain Road off Highway 24. After 5 miles there is an intersection with Goblin Valley Road. For reference, Goblin Valley Road is paved and goes left. Continue going straight on Temple Mountain Road past the intersection. There is a parking area soon after. Past the parking area you will start to see camping spots. You can camp in the ones around the canyon or continue out "behind the reef" where there is miles of open space on various roads. The roads do get pretty rough after awhile but should be passable by most cars. Some smaller RVs may be able to go to some of the closer spots. Be sure never to camp or put vehicles in any washes due to the danger of flash flooding. This is what you might consider extreme car camping, as there are no facilities for many miles. Bring a good map. This is a beautiful area

Other Activities

There is room to roam behind the reef, heading west towards Temple Mountain. This is a popular area for ATVing, on Behind the Reef Road or other old mining roads in the area. Bicycling is another activity on many of the same tracks and roads, including a loop around Temple Mountain. Behind the Reef Road makes for a nice, if rough drive, and you will eventually have to drive back the way you came if taking a regular car.


Located very near Goblin Valley State Park and Little Wild Horse Canyon, making a trip to this area is well worth it. To get to this area, off Highway 24 take Temple Mountain Road, after 5 miles there will be an intersection with Goblin Valley Road which is the turnoff to Goblin Valley State Park, continue straight on Temple Mountain Road past that intersection, the Temple Mountain area is past the parking area you see soon after. The views start to open up once you get through the canyon and are "behind the reef". Be sure to fill up your gas tank in Green River or Hanksville.



There is no water available in this area
There are no facilities besides the picnic areas and restrooms in the parking areas


BLM - Price Field Office
125 S 600 W
Price, UT 84501
Phone: 435-636-3600

Things to Consider

This is a very isolated area serviced by gravel roads which can sometimes be impassable after storms. It is not terribly well marked and having a good map is essential. A GPS unit could also prove helpful. Never enter abandoned mines as they are extremely dangerous, are unstable with possibility of collapse and are known to accumulate high levels of radiation at the entrances. Seek shelter during thunderstorms, lightning and flooding dangers are high. Never camp or put vehicles in any washes due to the danger of flash flooding. There is no water available and no facilities for miles. Come prepared and be sure to fill up your gas tank in Green River or Hanksville. Drink plenty of water.

Nearby Attractions

Goblin Valley State Park
Little Wild Horse Canyon
Wild Horse Window