Ute Canyon Trail (Colorado National Monument)

craggy black rock in forested canyon bottoms below towering red-orange sandstone cliffs
Hiker on Ute Canyon Trail

NPS Photo / N Scarborough

Quick Facts
Upper TH on Rim Rock Drive, Lower TH at Wildwood outside Monument

Parking - Auto, Trailhead

  • Location: Three access points:
    • (1) from the Saddlehorn Visitor Center, turn left onto Rim Rock Drive and travel 9.3 miles (15.0 km) to the trailhead on the left
    • (2) from the west entrance of the monument, turn right onto Highway 340 (going east); after 6.5 miles (10.5 km) turn right at the light onto South Broadway; go 1.2 miles (1.9 km) and turn left onto Wildwood Drive; watch closely for a brown trailhead sign on the right at 0.5 miles (0.8 km); turn down the road to the trailhead
    • (3) from the east entrance, proceed north on Monument Road 0.6 miles (1.0 km); turn left on South Camp Road; drive 2.6 miles (4.2 km) to its junction with South Broadway; turn left and go 0.5 miles (0.8 km); turn left onto Wildwood Drive and go 0.5 miles (0.8 km); watch closely for a brown trailhead sign on the right at what appears to be driveway; turn down this road to the trailhead. The last two access points are shared with Liberty Cap Trail and Corkscrew Trail.
  • Mileage: 7.0 one way (11.3 km)
  • Difficulty Level: Steep
  • Elevation: 6,440 to 4,800 feet (1963 to 1463 meters) from upper trailhead to lower trailhead.
  • Average time: 4-5 hours
  • Usage: Hiking. Horseback riding is permitted along the boundary of the monument to the base of the escarpment only.
  • Description (from upper access): Rigorous descent into narrow Ute Canyon from the plateau follows a primitive trail. Route then follows the streambed with seasonal stream and pools bordered by cottonwoods and willows. A few arches may be seen. Unmaintained.

Colorado National Monument

Last updated: January 11, 2024