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False Kiva

False Kiva, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

False Kiva, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

This amazing location is kept fairly quite by the Park Service, as it is tucked away under a beautiful alcove on an un-marked trail. It isn’t really a Kiva (site for religious rituals), but it is a historic native American site.

We had hiked to some other ruins at Aztec Butte, before hiking to this site. The two hikes combined took much less time then we estimated, leaving us here about two hours before sunset. That was fine with us, we had the place to ourselves as we sat and waited for the light, and tried to imagine what life was like back in the days this site was occupied. To think, we were sitting on the same rocks as Native Americans many hundreds of years ago! From this position, I could see a desert bighorn making its way up the ridge on the right – just magical!

Here are more of our Canyonlands National Park, Utah, Photos.

About the author: Ron Niebrugge is an Alaska based outdoor photographer specializing in landscapes, wildlife and travel photography. Ron shares his travels and adventures here on the blog. To see more photos, or to learn about Ron’s photo tours and workshops, visit our main photo website.

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Thomas October 21, 2008, 6:29 am

    Your blog is full of stunning landscape shots. colors are perfect and composition are fabulous.

    I liked the mountain bike silhouette and the jeep rental shot as well.

  • Ron October 21, 2008, 7:43 am

    Thanks Thomas, I appreciate it!

  • Dennis Barton October 21, 2008, 8:44 am

    Beautiful shot Ron, looks like you are getting some great photo’s for your collection. Did you ever get out to delicate arch?

  • Ron October 21, 2008, 9:49 am

    Thanks Dennis,

    I did – unfortunately it was really crowded there which kind of ruined the experience. I’m thinking it will be my next post.


  • Richard Wong October 21, 2008, 11:07 am

    This is a classic Ron. Glad you found it. I agree about Delicate Arch. I parked in the lot then walked around the Wolf Ranch a little bit then saw the amount of people on the trail and went right back in my car.

  • laurent October 21, 2008, 1:42 pm

    Nice, Ron. Can you imagine the days when you were stuck at a desk? Ho hum….oh, wait, that’s where I cam >-(, lol!

  • Ron October 21, 2008, 4:53 pm

    Thanks Laurent!

    You know, I haven’t forgotten those days – I am so thankful everyday I don’t have to go to an office. I think I’m ruined for life now – I would probably wait tables or bartend before taking another office job.

    Good choice Richard!


  • Rick October 21, 2008, 8:23 pm

    This Utah series is Great Ron! One of my favorite places ever is Utah! The landscape in Southern Utah is amazing and so are the images you have been sharing. Thanks buddy!

  • Beth Lunsford October 29, 2008, 11:16 am

    That’s a cool shot. It looks like Mars!

  • James Roy February 1, 2009, 10:03 pm


    I will be shooting Canyonlands next week, Feb 6 – 9. I have been dreaming about shooting False Kiva. How do I get to this location? Thanks for the advise.


  • Ron February 2, 2009, 9:53 pm

    Sounds like you received my email – have a great trip!

  • betchai March 4, 2009, 11:54 am

    i am so in love with this picture, i was browsing your canyonlands national park since we plan on going there this april 6th and 7th, when i saw false kiva, i wanted to go here. however, i googled and surfed for directions of this and i could not find it at all. i wonder if you can share how to get to this location? I would understand however if it is a secret as well.

    thanks for all your photos by the way, it is very inspiring to see all these wonderful places.

  • Paul July 23, 2009, 10:27 am

    Hey Ron,

    Lovely shot .. that snow in the bottom of the canyon? I’ll be in Canyonlands this fall, and I’d love to shoot False Kiva. Any tips on getting to this location? Thanks in advance for any advise.


  • Ron July 24, 2009, 7:13 am


    Sorry I missed your comment betchai.

    Paul, that is white rock down in the valley.

    I could probably provide more details on this location when I get back to the office next week.

  • Ron August 25, 2009, 3:41 pm

    I could try to describe how to get to this spot, but it is a bit involved. Probably the best way to find it is to follow the directions in this book: Photographing the Southwest: Volume 1–Southern Utah (2nd Ed.)

    I think it is a great book to have anyway if you are going to spend any time photographing the Southwest.

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