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You HAVE to have a high clearance vehicle to get anywhere near the trailhead. We had to park 2 miles from the trailhead at the horse ride parking lot, after reversing our car a good 500 feet down a narrow ledge after seeing that only a high clearance vehicle would manage with their oil pan intact. Once on the trail it is quite easy to wander off one of the side trails that horses and wildlife use. I recommend sticking to the AllTrails map for the best route for humans. No need to bushwhack if you use the correct trail. It is rocky and I had a pole with me that helped on the descent tremendously. Great views at the top, but that extra 4 miles (there and back) if you can’t make it past the horse rides parking lot will make this a half-day hike versus a few hours if you park at the actual trailhead.

Amazing views!!

hiking
5 days ago

Nice way to see some of CNM's formations up close. Some shade along the trail but not a ton, so lots of water and starting early are musts in August. Unfortunately, not much wildlife our morning. We started at the upper trailhead and went to Independence Monument (~3.5 miles) before turning around and heading back. Note that this trail is ~12 miles round-trip (upper to lower trailhead or vice versa, then back) and not 6.8 or 10.9 as listed here.

hiking
20 days ago

We weren't as enthusiastic about this hike as some of the other reviewers, but it was enjoyable. If you have time on the north rim and want to see the canyon from another vantage point, certainly bust this hike out. But, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have disappointed if we wouldn't have had time for it. It was short and pretty easy, so I'll give it that. If you've done the pull-out view points and want more, this would be the next option.

28 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in the valley. I quit often see the big horn sheep in this valley. It always takes a lot longer to do this hike when I stop and watch the sheep.

please note that this review is based on starting from the upper trailhead and hiking down two miles.

it is basically an old dirt road converted to a trail and winds through the relatively flat part of the Mesa. there are no views to speak of and if you go to miles, you can see Ute Canyon in the far distance but not awesome and not worth the hike.

hiking from the lower trailhead or hiking all the way down from the upper trailhead may afford a better hike.

Great view and easy hike!

hiking
1 month ago

A pretty hike. Lots of switchbacks, uphill all the way, somewhat challenging. Most of the hike is along a forest trail, with occasional views as you climb higher. Some wildflowers, but not an abundance. Trail was lightly traveled our day - we only saw about 6 other people. I'd recommend this one as a tune-up hike for some of the more challenging trails in the region, like Ice Lake. In agreement with previous posts, I suspect the distances are longer than described.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful trail. Great to start early. Driving to the trail head does require a higher clearance vehicle and 4x4 wouldn't hurt. Bear country for sure but I didn't see any today. Great trail for dogs, even in the heat of the day.

Great starter trail for my wife and I during our stay in the area. Unfortunately waterfalls were just a trickle as it’s dry. Some boulder scrambling but loved it.

I did not find the red trail that was marked in the map but I did find an ATV trail that was easy to follow. I tried to find it but honestly this is such an odd placement of a trail because it was right in the middle of 2 farm lands. The view was nice and it was decent amount of hiking but trail marking was poor.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked to Ottos Bathtub from the Rim Rock Dr. Trail Head for Liberty Cap- Super easy trail as its an old road. Made it out to the bathtub but did not climb down in!

awesome hike, lots of trees down on trail

hiking
2 months ago

Wow what a view. My favorite view because you can look up canyon. Don't pass this one up

my favorite hike ever!

I've gone 3 times in the last month. I absolutely love this trail. I hike the wildwood trail to liberty cap. I feel like Sylvester Stallone at the top!!!❤

Have hiked parts of this trail coming off the Nature Trailhead across from Visitor's Center and then from the CCC trail. Saw one other person on the two days we were on the trail. Great views, nice rolling terrain. A terrific constitutional on a beautiful day.

Good work out! Not too difficult. Very beautiful.

very pretty trail and quiet. We saw few hikers. It was a very calm and clear, we were able to se Utah. We started at the Visitor Center and exited at the CCC Trail branch. We hiked the road back, we got to see the entire canyon but would choose that option next time. definitely recommend sunglasses and a hat!

Rough road getting in with a Buick Enclave, but didn’t need high clearance. Very scenic hike, dusty and dry, so bring plenty of water. Exposed most of the way. Steep only at beginning and at end. Moderate difficulty is accurate.

hiking
4 months ago

It was a great hike (a bit tough as it was my first time) but it had beautiful views and was lucky to see some big horn sheeps/ mountain goats... I would definitely hike this trail again!

hiking
4 months ago

Did this a couple days ago. Started at the upper TH. Very quiet, saw 1 other hiker. Visually stunning (except maybe the first 1.5 miles) especially the last mile to the lower TH. The first 5 miles or so are fairly easy. Able to complete the 13 mile or so round trip in 4 hours. Very exposed! Bring hydration and sunscreen. Trail is easy to follow. I always bring trekking poles but never used them on this trail. Maybe some class 2 depending on experience.

Do the wedding trail side first as it is a harder trek. It’s a really nice trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Did this trail in mid March - very little water in the pond but still beautiful, relaxing, and quiet.

This is a fairly easy trail as it has no significant climbs or descents. It’s a nice roller with some minor ups and downs. On a clear day you can see Utah. We usually hike it one way rather than doing it out and back, ending at the Visitors Center. But doing this requires two vehicles parking one at each end.

Very enjoyable hike. Great views of many of the formations in Colorado National Monument. Most of the trail is very easy. The only difficult part is going up the cliffs up to Rimrock drive but the views of the Coke Ovens are worth it. I saw tons of Bighorn Sheep on the trail. Also, you can turn this trail into a loop by going on the Wedding Canyon trail. It connects back up with the Monument Canyon Trail near Independence Monument.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this back in Nov-2017 as a very long loop with the Ute Canyon Trail (10.2 miles on the trail, plus 2.9 miles on the road). It was a long mostly flat walk, but great weather and very low people traffic. Felt like I had an entire canyon to myself :)

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this before Thanksgiving dinner. Perfect weather and had it all to ourselves

hiking
7 months ago

It is a nice hike starting from Wildwood TR up to Rim Rock Dr however plan lots of time for the hike. The traveling is rough in spots so I couldn’t go very fast. It is not a hike you want to do in the dark.

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