Sunsets in the San Rafael Swell


Feb 1, 2015
Anyone have any places within five miles of the road with particularly good views to the west south of I-70?
Five miles from the road that goes from the interstate to Tomisch Butte. We'd camp overnight.
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Five miles from the road that goes from the interstate to Tomisch Butte. We'd camp overnight.

I think there is no really good place for a sunset on and along this road due to the fact thas to the west rises the what I call "Inner Reef" and a little bit farther to the west are the Fishlake Mountains both blocking the view onto the setting sun early.

On this picture you see Tomsich Butte in the middle. We are standing on the western Rim some 600-800 feet above the valley around the Butte:


You may have a better chance from Horizon Arch but this is not on the desired route:


Horizon Arch

A description how to go to Horizoan Arch
It is in German but you may use the maps at the end.


From the arch into a northwestern direction


Another view from Horizon Arch onto the level where the road to Tomsich Butte = Reds Canyon Loop runs.

Even if the cliff in the picture above are east-west oriented thea are the same as these to the west
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I've been to the swell once, and except for this road and the one north to the Wedge Overlook, I wasn't able to drive on any distance before we were blocked. We had a passenger car that time and will have a standard SUV this time, so we're limited by where we drive.
Anyone have any places within five miles of the road with particularly good views to the west south of I-70?
If you are looking for an easy spot to stop on the South side of I-70 near Highway 10. Go about a mile or two west of Highway 10 on I-70 east. If you start dropping way down into a minnie "canyon" you have gone too far. When the you get close to the low rock outcrops, pull off the road and park (pull far off as 18 wheelers fly through). Start making your way east on foot moving up the natural switch backs of the outcrop. After a while you will be way up there with a great view of the San Rafael Swell to the north. There are alot of natural ledges from rock beds to sit and watch the sunset. I spent a lot of time of there getting regional photos for Geology research in the area. The views to the west and really nice and its right off the interstate.
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A carefully driven car can get out there no problem. Kinda sharp rocks toward the end though. And the views, as Greg said, are very nice. Not the best spot when it's windy though.


I see one road that goes up onto the flat and one that goes past Hyde Draw Reservoir to the trailhead. Are these pictures from the flat? Are both roads passable?
The road out to the end of Cliff Dweller Flat to right here: 38.856164, -110.556346, is the one you can do in a car. The road down Hyde Draw to Arson's Garden & Hyde Draw Res. is much rougher. It definitely requires HC 4WD and I seem to recall straddling some rather large holes in the road when I drove it.
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