Explore the most popular trails near Cortez with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Cortez, Colorado Map
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Watch out for cougars.

hiking
8 days ago

This is a popular local trail. Sometimes it can be hard to find parking at the Sand Canyon entrance (mostly on the weekends). This is a great place to stop off if you are visiting and want to get a taste of the area without getting too far out there. If you enter from the Sand Canyon side, you will pass a hogan up at to the right of the first sandstone slab that you walk up out of the parking area. There are archeological sites littering the whole area. It does not take much effort to spot the countless walls remaining in the caves and overhangs you will see along the trail. Keep an eye out, and you are sure to see some ruins. They are out in the open for the public to enjoy, but nonetheless marvelous archeological sites, so please remember to respect them and help preserve them.

18 days ago

Uhz ibbb

18 days ago

Ll was ttt

hiking
28 days ago

First of all I want to say that we got a late start on this trail and only went 3 of the 7 miles in and then back out. The trail is well marked and quite easy to follow. The three miles that we hiked provided several opportunities to view ancient cliff dwellings both up close and in the distance across the canyon. The Canyons of The Ancients is an amazing place and this trail invites you to imagine what it may have been like to live in this area thousands of years ago. The pinion/juniper landscape is healthy all through the canyon and I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities to view wildlife if your quiet during your hike. We recently moved to the four corners area and I'm sure we will be back to walk the entire trail when the weather cools

walking
1 month ago

This loop provided for a mediocre walk. I'm pretty sure its primarily used as a mountain biking trail and it would probably be better for that. There are pretty good views of the Mesa Verde from this trail and a good portion brings you through some established juniper/pinion. Most of the pinion however, is dead from prior years drought but new trees seem to want to re-establish themselves in this area. There are many other much better 3 to 4 mile walks in the area that should be considered before choosing this one.

on Sand Canyon Trail

hiking
3 months ago

We did about 5 miles of this trail. We saw some awesome ruins. It was too hot to do the whole trail with our pup this time. Really good signage, not sure why people said it was poorly signed.

great hike, watch for ruins as you go. Can shorten it without west side loop.

hiking
4 months ago

We did as a loop coming back on rock canyon. also nice dwellings there as well. gorgeous area

hiking
5 months ago

The parking area is pretty easy to find, you have to be paying attention because the signs are set back a little and the "lot" is actually on a rock, not a paved area and has a unique rock formation that sticks out from the landscape! The trail was fairly obvious as well once you get past the first .2 miles which is also on rock but if you keep and eye out and follow the cairnes and sign posts it's really easy to navigate! Definitely take the spur trails so you can get up close to the ruins! There were a few spurs that I couldn't find anything but all the rest get you right up to them so you don't have to go off trail! Also, this trail is a point-to-point (not 6miles RT). You can definitely make it however long you want as it's pretty flat if you start from the GPS this app gives you. I hiked about 5 miles in (including spurs) and then it was like 4miles back to the parking lot. I turned around before the switchbacks but there were about 9 different sites I saw in that distance! You can definitely make this hike shorter and still get some cool views! Lot is a decent size but rough terrain for low-clearance cars, no facilities and it's in the desert so bring lots of water and sun protection!

hiking
5 months ago

First off, we only knew where the trailhead was because there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road. No signs along the road before here. Then, no signs that said where there might be sites to see, just a generic map. We came to a couple of people coming back down the trail and they described the mapping as "lean", "thin" and "non-descriptive". That's about what we found. We hiked up a few miles not knowing if there was anything to see or not. Bummer. Hard to know if we should've kept going or not seeing as we're in our 70s. Every time I went ahead to scout it out, I came across nothing.

trail running
5 months ago

It's single track, clay/fine sandy soil with rock out cropping on the ridge sections. Great trail posts to navigate throughout run. A good warm up that we did in the morning before breakfast.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing ruins! Very well signed - no probs finding the route. There are even maps posted along the route!

Re distances from the lower trailhead: 6.45 mi to the top of the switchbacks (we took most of the spurs to see the sights) and 5.15 straight back to the car without the spurs.

The warning sign at the base of the climb is a bit misleading - it said only 1 mi of steep, rocky trail. So we kept wondering where the switchbacks would start. Turns out there is about 0.6 mi of generally upstream in a small streambed - then a sharp left uphill out of the streambed for about 0.2 mi - then about 0.85 mi of switchbacks! I’d call it difficult but not ridiculous. Great for training. The rest was easy as others have reported.

The actual trail is an out and back totaling .75 miles. The ruins are quite large, but if you're looking for a good hike look elsewhere.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

very nice!

Love the trails!

Beautiful trail. Not much elevation gain so it’s a fairly moderate hike. Be sure to take the quick side shoots (white triangles) that get you close to some ruins and view points.

hiking
10 months ago

Took about 4 hours to do out and back, great weather and the trail was deserted.

10 months ago

**this hike is actually 6 miles OUT and 6 miles BACK. So a total of about 12 miles.

We started at about 11:30 and ended at about 4:30. The only really moderate part of the hike is about 0.5-1 mile of switchbacks. Other than this section of the trail, it was fairly easy. The views were amazing! You get to see so many historical sites in the cliffs up close. We went in the beginning of November and it still got pretty hot because of the direct sun exposure, so bring lots of water! :)

mountain biking
Monday, September 18, 2017

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

It was hot so we started early. Used a crossover trail to get to East Rock Canyon Trail going back. More than a dozen ruins, at least 8 in good condition. One of the best hikes ever for quality and concentration.
If you like Hovenweep or Chaco you will LOVE this placeGot some great photos for our FB Ruins and rock art website. We will be going back as soon as it cools down

trail running
Sunday, July 09, 2017

This was the coolest trail run I've ever done (I'm from Texas with out cool scenery though). Great views, cool ruins that you can get within feet of at times, and excellent runability. It got hot very quick, so ran out of water and turned around at mile 4.5. Take the short jaunts off the oath, so worth it! Only dislike is following the path back on the large rock...got a bit disoriented.

hiking
Saturday, April 08, 2017

Nice because you can make it any length you want & still see several dwellings along the way

Hiked this two weeks ago. Beautiful country with a lot to see if you keep your eyes open. Though rated as a moderate, it is a low moderate or high easy. One needs to be in reasonably good shape. Important to carry water to keep hydrated at those altitudes

hiking
Monday, February 06, 2017

Great trail close to town . Please do not carve your name or date into the ruins ..... Show history respect !

hiking
Wednesday, June 01, 2016

I live close by and do this trail fairly often. There are lots of possible combinations with other trails in the same area. Nice views and Anasazi Ruins along the way.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Awesome hike with Native American ruins.

hiking
Sunday, March 27, 2016

Really neat trail! Parking is a little weird as you have to park on slick rock. Easy/casual access to Native American ruins/dwellings. Easy hike for kids and families, very little elevation gain in the first half or so. This trail is actually more like 6 mi point to point (according to the TH sign). We ended up doing half because incoming weather pushed us out. Great scenic views of mountains and canyon. Probably would not recommend this hike in the dead of summer, it would be an extremely hot hike since sun exposure is intense

mountain biking
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fantastic trail. Extremely fun. Fast flowing track. This system is built well and maintained constantly throughout the year. It is a must do for any mountain biker of any skill level.

Check out some more info including video here: http://wp.me/p4CzD1-i3

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