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Cordova Canyon Ranch in Arches National Park

Monday, June 12, 2023

After spending the weekend along the Dolores River near Gateway, I had taken this Monday off from work so I could return to Arches National Park for another short hike into Cordova Canyon. This time I wouldn’t be hiking alone and would be joining up with the Cordova family for whom the canyon is named. Last spring I was contacted by Gabe Cordova after he had come across my recent Trip Report from Salt Wash and Cordova Canyon while researching and planning a trip for him and his family to come out and visit his great-grandparents old homestead in the canyon. After corresponding back and forth with the details, he invited me to join them on their hike and I jumped at the opportunity since I rarely ever get the chance to visit these historic places with people who actually have a connection to them and I thought it would be nice to hear some of the family history along the way.

I arrived at the trailhead a little early and waited for the Cordova family to show up at 8:00am. They arrived right on time, although they were not able to drive their vehicles down the very last section of the road to where I was parked, so I drove back up to meet them.

Salt Wash Trailhead

Here’s a view over Salt Wash from the trailhead. If you look closely along the horizon you might be able to spot Landscape Arch.

Salt Wash View

After following the steep trail down into Salt Wash we started making our way over to the mouth of Cordova Canyon.

Salt Wash Finger

Cordova Canyon Tower

Cordova Canyon Tower

Hiking above the wash in Cordova Canyon.

Cordova Canyon

It wasn’t long until we passed through an old fenceline in the canyon.

Old Fenceline

I really enjoy the scenery in this short little canyon.

Cordova Canyon View

As we neared the head of the canyon we all stopped for a rest break on the sandstone.

Time For A Break

Cordova Canyon Alcove

Cordova Canyon Alcove

After searching around the head of the canyon for a little bit, we found the remains of the old cabin hidden under some tall cottonwood trees. There was plenty of poison ivy around, so we had to be careful where we stepped as we explored the area.

Cordova Cabin

Here’s an old frying pan that was hidden in the leaves on the ground.

Frying Pan

Although Gabe and I tried to hike over to the spring that is supposed to be located at the head of the south fork of the canyon, we were turned back by thick brush, swarms of mosquitoes and tons of poison ivy!

One our way out of the canyon we stopped to take a couple family photos in front of the large alcove.

The Cordova Family

Here’s one last view of Salt Wash before we slowly made our way out of the canyon and back up to our vehicles.

Leaving Salt Wash

>> Cordova Canyon Ranch Photo Gallery



If you are interested in learning a little more about the Cordova Canyon Ranch, I have attached a short article below that was written by Jack Bickers and featured in the 1991 Fall issue of Canyon Legacy. Click on the cover to download a copy.


Cordova Canyon Ranch



  1. Rob Shields
    Rob Shields June 20, 2023

    Thank you Randy for posting this.

  2. Danny Cordova
    Danny Cordova July 11, 2023

    Thank you Randy for the write up of Cordova Canyon! We were so Blessed to have you with us, was a once in a lifetime event. So glad to have met you Sir..

  3. Tom Andrews
    Tom Andrews July 22, 2023

    A really nice post. Thank you for the download of Cordova Canyon Ranch by Mr. Bickers – a most interesting read!

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