Coordinates: 37°35′N 109°25.5′W / 37.583°N 109.4250°W / 37.583; -109.4250 Recapture Canyon is a canyon along Recapture Creek (a tributary of the San Juan River) east of Blanding, San Juan County, Utah, United States. It is an archaeological site, and is located on federal land.[1] The Bureau of Land Management closed it to motorized vehicles in 2007 due to damage caused by illegal trail construction.[1]

Recapture Canyon contains dwellings, burial sites, and artifacts of the Ancient Pueblo peoples, including cliff dwellings built between 1150 and 1300 AD.[2]

On Saturday May 10, 2014, San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman organized a protest aimed at legally opening the trail to all-terrain vehicles.[3] The protest attracted several militia members from the Bundy ranch.[4] BLM undercover agents documented the illegal ride. Lyman was convicted of misdemeanor trespassing, for which he served ten days in jail and paid restitution of $96,000. On December 22, 2020 Lyman was pardoned by President Donald Trump.[5]


  1. ^ a b Gulliford, Andrew (12 February 2014). "Recapture Canyon and an illegal ATV trail". High Country News. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  2. ^ McCombs, Brady (May 9, 2014). "Gov. Herbert: Uphold Laws During ATV Protest", Associated Press. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  3. ^ "'Bundy Affair' Rides Again in Utah Canyon Protest". ABC news. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Canyon ride tests access to BLM land". USA Today. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  5. ^ Dunphey, Kyle (2020-12-22). "Utah Rep. Phil Lyman receives presidential pardon for ATV ride on protected land". Deseret News. Retrieved 2020-12-22.