Family hike in the Maze in June? (Canyonlands / Moab) Am I crazy?


New Member
Jun 2, 2020
I have basically been talked out of this plan. I thought I had considered my options carefully enough, but I'm hearing that I may have underestimated the heat in the Maze in June. (The ranger tells me that exposed rock reaches 140-150 degrees, and if you're stuck in that you're toast, regardless of how much water you bring.) Still, no one has quite listened to my actual plan, so I'm hoping an expert here can tell me whether maybe I did plan this just right.

Note: Traveling with kids ages 13 and 7. Good hikers, just slower.

Day 1: 10 AM Jet boat drop off at Spanish Bluff
Shift gear up to Chimney Rock area.
Retreat to shade in the Dollhouse, Water Canyon, or back down to the river. Stay huddled in shade playing cards or games.
Evening - set up camp, explore the Chimney Rock / Standing Rock area.

Day 2: 6AM begin Harvest Scene loop trail (8.7 miles)
Back by noon. 11 seems do-able.
Again, retreat to the shade. Hide & huddle.
Evening - set up camp, walk down Chocolate Drops.

Day 3: Break camp. Depart.
I think it's a real good idea to not take kids into this area in June
I've been to the Maze quite a bit, but I would certainly not go there in June....even the last half of May starts getting too hot for me there. Plus, the gnats can be really bad. But maybe you can handle the heat better than I can...
Not in June that's an ambitious hike. 9 mile loop before 11? The hiking is well cairned, but still tricky (slow) routefinding getting in and out of canyons.

There is not a lot of shade when you are out of the main canyons.

If it was just a couple of adults I'd say give it a shot, it will be pretty miserable, but you might be able to do what you said. A 7 and 13 year old? No.
Taking the kids backpacking: Fantastic idea.
Taking them to the Maze in June: Terrible idea.

This has been a hot and dry enough spring that you might be able to go somewhere awesome in the mountains, depending on how late in June you are going. Or you could find a more shaded canyon with water (e.g., lower Death Hollow), although you would still want to keep an eye on the temperatures and start early and such. There should be a number of options that will be safe and awesome for you guys.
So it's unanimous. Thanks, everyone. Sounds like it could be an awesome hike in February or April (winter break and spring break for us), so I'll start penciling that in for 2022. "Lower Death Hollow" doesn't sound any better, but I'll look into that. And mountains ... I hadn't really thought of mountains there, but a quick Google search says there are some interesting areas on the western side that could be a nice relief to the arid parks.

Thanks again!
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