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Main Canyon Trail is a 11.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mesa, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 11.5 mi Elevation gain 823 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (54)
Photos (29)
Recordings (46)
Completed (76)
Chuck Crinnian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 6, 2020
Hiking

Came for the horses, but 5 hrs of hiking never saw one. But a lot of big horn sheep. Very dry in early June, so horses probably higher up where there is some water. Lots of nats, bring bug spray. But excellent hike just for the scenery. Watch you core temp and hydration in the summer. We will be back in the fall.

Tonya Warmenhoven
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 26, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful Canyon and hike! Saw 13 Wild Horses in the 5 mile one way through the canyon! Bring binoculars and plenty of water!

Parker W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 26, 2020
Hiking

Came for the wild horses and was not disappointed. Also spotted a big horn sheep! Extremely hard to see ad they blend in perfectly.

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Aaron Abeyta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 19, 2020
HikingNo shade
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Mckayla Davidson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 3, 2020
Hiking

I have been hiking this trail sense I was a kid! I have always enjoyed, getting to see the wild horses, beautiful views. When driving to the trail there is dirt road for a few miles nothing you can’t drive with a car. Make sure to always bring water, it gets extremely hot on this hike, there is a few shady spots to stop to take a break but not a lot. Great hike!!!

David Pumphrey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 5, 2020
Hiking

Saw one of the wild horses while walking along this trail. I thought I had to go to Debeque to see them.

Brittany Woodward
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 30, 2020
HikingMuddyOff trail
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Kimberley Hallsted
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 3, 2019
Hiking

First part can be sketchy for those of us with bad balance. Once you get through that it is nice and flat! Absolutely gorgeous. We saw 16 horses, some before we even left the parking lot. Fun hike and would love to have more time to go father into the canyon.

Melena Melena
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 29, 2019
HikingNo shade

Excellent fall hike with great fall colors in the scrubby bushes. Saw 4 wild horses. Follow the old road up to the right of the trailhead sign like mentioned in a previous post, go through gate, and it’s all easy from there. I did reference the trail map a few times but overall well marked trail. Wish I would’ve had time to finish the whole thing.

David Chesnut
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2019
Hiking

First, there is a photo on here of a gate. Do not go thru this gate. It is not the trail! As I state below , the trail starts to the right of the trailhead sign (I’ve posted a photo of it) and goes a short distance before joining a rutted out old road. Take this road up and there’s a big cattle gate at the top with a small human gate to the left. This is the entrance. You follow the old road down as it veers to the right and puts you down in the canyon. Now that I’ve got that out of the way: Wonderful trail. You can make it as short or as long as you want. I didn’t go too far in because of misunderstanding where the trail begins - directly to the right of the trailhead sign. Anyway, saw no horses until I was heading back and saw several white butts scampering up a bank. “Wow, horses! Wait a minute, horses don’t scamper up banks. “ But big horn sheep do! I ran across a herd of 5 about a hundred yards away. The ram kept his eye on me while all the ewes turned their butts towards me. I don’t know, women seem to always do that to me.

Cheryl Riddle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 23, 2019
Hiking

Trail easy to find from highway. Lots of parking and a bathroom. We saw two heards of horses. Trail is easy but sandy and slows down your pace. Trails are not marked well. On return we had to find a different trail out because it was not well marked. If trail is unclear near last part hiking out of the canyon then look for the fence on the ridge and the South rocky road against the hillside. Go through the gate just above the parking lot.

Nels Peterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2019
HikingBugs
Fred Taroli Jr.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2019
HikingBugsOff trail

Had just exited I-70 at Cameo and pulled into the area when we met a car coming from the other direction. I stopped him and asked, “did you see the horses?” He was from the New England area and responded with “na, we didn’t go dat faa.” Then his wife added, “its all wiiildness our thee.” I’m thinking, “Awesome, it’s 92°, we came all this way and aren’t going to see the wild horses.” About a .5 mile in the first horse peeks his head out from the east in washed wadi. 3 horses in total. We get about 20 feet from a horse until we return to the trail. we go off trail about 500 yards and get even closer to them. The first hill is steep, until the fence with a gate you can easily bypass. If it wasn’t 92° we would have followed the 3 horses for as long as we could keep up. Parking is 1.7 miles after you cross the bridge over the Colorado River. It has a unisex outhouse and parking for 40 vehicles. There is a shooting range eithe side of the trail until the parking area. Go See the horses, maybe you’ll get lucky! We did! We went at 5:30 pm and were with 3 wild horses within 20 minutes!

Erika Griswold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful and peaceful but u gotta drive past Halliburton to get there

John Woodford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 8, 2019
Hiking

Saw about 15 mustangs. Very easy hike.

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Billy Vincent
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 24, 2018

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Jo Dee Berger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 6, 2018

Fun little trail, good for taking friends from out of state that aren't ready for the harder trails. Beautiful photo opportunities. We went around the very end of March and the wild horses weren't only beautiful but ready to foal soon by the looks of it.

Tara M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2017

Trails were not marked well.

Thomas Friedli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 7, 2015
Hiking

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Andy Hamilton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 17, 2013
Hiking

Very pretty if you're in to high desert scenery. Pretty standard hike, just make sure you take your bearings as it's easy to get on the wrong trail since all the horse trails careen around all over the place. It's a nice spot to see some horses in the spring, or to just get out and about. Elevation gain is minimal, so it's definitely something that would work for anyone.

Jim Parmenter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 27, 2012
Hiking

This is a little misleading. The road does not go up the main canyon it goes up coal creek canyon which is closed during the spring due to wild horse breeding and births. To get to the main canyon you go past the power plant And up the road to the parking lot. From there you hike over the ridge above the parking lot and then down into the main canyon. Beautiful canyon. We saw 3 groups of wild horses going up the canyon. They are very used to people so you can get real close to them. 2 miles up the canyon you can go up spring creek canyon or continue up main canyon to round mountain.

Amy Haffer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 26, 2011
Hiking

To say that this is located out of Palisade is incorrect. To get to the Main Canyon you actually need to take the Cameo exit off of I-70 before you reach the Palisade exit. Take the Cameo Exit, drive past the power plant (It will look like you are driving in to their property but the road continues past the power plant), and then its another mile or two to the trailhead. You can get out and walk from there or if you have a high clearance 4WD you can actually drive pretty far in to the canyon to reach other trailheads. Definately worth a peek if you have exhausted the more popular trails in the area

Melody Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 18, 2011
Hiking
First to Review

An estimated 80 - 100 wild horses live in this area. Great scenery, easy route and hike - I wouldn't recommend in the summer as it would be very hot.

Kelly Pelsor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking
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Kent Micho
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking
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Lauren Hefferon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
Snowshoeing
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Landon Bain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 13, 2020
Hiking
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Justin Sorrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 9, 2020
Hiking
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