• Activities:

    Photography, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8.6 Miles

River
Scenic
Wildlife

Explore this beautiful red rock canyon with few crowds. There are lots of trails to explore and find a new run every time.

Ute Canyon Trail is a mostly undeveloped 4.3 mile trail (8.6 round trip) in Colorado National Monument that offers technical descents, route finding, water crossings, and gorgeous red rock walls. The trailhead is just a few miles off I-70 from the town of Fruita—it's well worth the trip. Remember that there's no water, restrooms, or trash bins at the small trailhead so be sure to pack in and pack out.

The trail starts with a 600-foot switchback descent into Ute Canyon from the small parking lot. From there, follow the trail as much as possible to the turnaround. There's a couple trails that break off from the main path, so be sure to study the trail map at the trailhead so you don't get lost. The trail isn't maintained and you'll have to fight through the brush at some spots.

The canyon is cooler than the surrounding area in the summer which makes for a great hike or run. The top of the trail head sits above 6,000 feet, so the area usually gets some snow in the winter—come prepared!

Pack List

  • Water
  • Map
  • Cell phone (pretty good cell service)
  • Camera
  • Running shoes and clothes
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Leave a Review

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Derrick Lytle Explorer

- trail running - time lapse photography - filmmaking - adventure -

 @derricklytle derricklytle.tumblr.com

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

7 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves