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gem icon Professor Creek/Mary Jane Canyon

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Overview

Professor Creek is a small stream that joins the Colorado River 20 miles northeast of Moab. The creek flows year-round, along a canyon (known as Mary Jane Canyon) which is shallow for most of its length but one mile of the central section becomes fairly narrow and up to 100 feet deep. The walls have interesting rock textures and colors, different to most true slot canyons as the rock is darker, harder and less striated.

The hike upstream is an easy walk, and very pleasant in summer as much of the journey involves paddling in the cool, shallow water. Along the edges of the creek, abundant green vegetation makes a nice contrast to the reddish canyon walls

Half-Day Run: Directions: From road UT 128, which links Moab with Cisco, near I-70, and 3 miles northeast of the turn-off to Castle Valley, a good quality gravel track (Professor Valley Road) heads southeast for 2 miles, past a cluster of ranch buildings. The road ends at a shaded parking area right next to the creek, which is wide and meandering at this point. This part of the Colorado River valley has many ancient, eroded red rock formations - sandstone cliffs, buttes and pinnacles, similar to Monument Valley 150 miles south, and some are visible along the canyon, including the tall, solitary spire of Castle Rock.

Family Friendly: An easy hike along a stream with little elevation gain.

Gem Type: Waterfall

Shared by:
Cory Wynhof

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Shared by Cory Wynhof on Oct 29, 2015. All Page Views: 673. Last Month: 38.