The United States Congress designated the Canaan Mountain Wilderness (map
) in 2009 and it now has a total of 44,447 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Utah
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Canaan Mountain Wilderness is bordered by
the Cottonwood Point Wilderness
to the south and the Zion Wilderness
to the north.
Adjacent to the southeast boundary of Zion National Park, Canaan Mountain Wilderness is comprised of approximately 44,500 acres of public land in Washington County. In this wilderness, an 8-by-10 mile block of Navajo Sandstone, bounded by 2,000-foot-high cliffs, has been sculpted by wind and water over time into a landscape of soaring cliff walls, natural arches, and slot canyons. On the highest plateaus, stands of ponderosa pine are surrounded by cream-colored slickrock. Pinyon pine, Utah juniper, scrub oak, and sagebrush cover the mountain slopes, at lower elevations. Seeps in the canyon walls provide water for hanging gardens of maidenhair fern, monkeyflower, and columbine. Hawks, falcons, and golden eagles nest along the sandstone walls, while ringtailed cats, deer, cougar, and black bear live on the plateaus and in the canyon bottoms.
This wilderness provides opportunities for primitive recreational activities, including hiking, equestrian trail riding, canyoneering, and camping. Several routes exist on the southern end of the wilderness providing access to higher elevations by way of steep canyons. The Sawmill trail, however, follows an historic logging route and traverses a large portion of the wilderness. Only one route is on the northern side and provides access to Eagle Crags at about 5,200 feet. All of these routes are primitive, not maintained on a regular basis, and not signed.