Running Ute Canyon in Colorado National Monument

Rate this Adventure Colorado Ute Canyon trailhead

Added by Derrick Lytle

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

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

8.6 Miles

Features:

River
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Derrick Lytle

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

 @derricklytle derricklytle.tumblr.com

More Adventures Nearby

Photograph Dallas Divide

Colorado / Dallas Divide

Along with Maroon Lake and Crystal Mill, Dallas Divide is one of Colorado's iconic photography locations.

Katie Lyons
2 Saves

Summit Precipice Peak

Colorado / Precipice Peak Trailhead

Drive Owl Creek Pass as far as you can go. If you have 4WD, this will mean going past the Courthouse trailhead by about 2.5 miles of bumpiness & creek crossings.

Piper Wolters
1 Saves

Hike Crystal Lake Peak

Colorado / Ophir Pass (Crystal Lake Peak)

Drive to the top of Ophir Pass, where you will be greeted with plenty of parking and a metal sign covered in stickers. The trail starts here.

Piper Wolters
1 Saves