Published on March 4, 2013 by Amy
False Kiva is a human-made stone circle of unknown origin in a cave in a remote area of the Canyonlands National Park, which is located in U.S. state of Utah. It requires some hiking knowledge or special directions to find.
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It has become a popular spot for photographers capturing the Southwest, offering a unique frame for the dramatic thunderstorms or clear skies beyond.
While located in a naturally occurring cave, the name False Kiva arises from the uncertainty around the circle of stones’ origins and purpose, not whether it is really an authentic kiva.
Debate rages on whether to disclose the exact location of False Kiva as it enjoys a semi-protected status. While park rangers are required to disclose the location of the Class II site, it does not appear on official maps of the park. Because of the remoteness of the location, the site itself is not protected from vandalism of any kind.
However, local guides are available to take interested parties to the site, raising questions as to whether closely guarding the location of False Kiva is particularly effective.
The exact coordinates for False Kiva are occasionally divulged on forums, but GPS users should be aware that these exact directions can place hikers 500 feet directly above False Kiva. Moreover, the trail to False Kiva is unmarked and can take up to three hours of hiking to reach.
A photograph of False Kiva by Wally Pacholka, entitled “A True Image of False Kiva,” was featured on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) on September 29, 2008, giving an almost otherworldly view into the Milky Way.