Explore the most popular walking 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.

hiking
1 month 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
2 months ago

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

hiking
3 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
3 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
3 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
5 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
6 months ago

hiking
6 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
8 months ago

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

**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! :)

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

Thursday, June 05, 2014

This is a great trail for horses nice loop beautiful trail. Parking is a little tight and tricky to find the first time out.

mountain biking
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A lot of fun. Hard/good workout. Lots of uphill but some of the down hill is world class super technical parts. Steep rocks. The rib cage is fun but seemed to short. A must for any mountain bike fan

hiking
Sunday, July 07, 2013

Oh my god this trail is a blast. Everything you could ask for in an out and back. Plus casual access to native ruins. Did an outer out and back on the return which was well worth it. The heat was part of the experience, upper 90's.

mountain biking
Wednesday, June 05, 2013

This is a fun short loop that has lots of winding sections with great flow. Makes a good warmup before riding the main loops at Phil's World.

hiking
Friday, April 05, 2013

A very nice trail, as for any trail in the four corners area there are going to be a lot of artifacts in the area, so be respectful and only take pictures. There are also a number of cliff dwellings as you hike through the canyon as well. I recommend starting on the north end, if you are going to have two cars, take one to the south endlock your car, just to be safe. When you start hiking from Sand Canyon Pueblo this will give you a much better view from the top of the canyon, once you head down canyon enjoy, it is pretty much flat to downhill the rest of the way. I do not recommend hiking this or any trail in the desert southwest in dead of summer, spring and fall, still bring plenty of water, you are pretty much exposed on the entire trail. Well worth it except the parking and not much of a challengejust a cool pueblo hike

mountain biking
Monday, July 02, 2012

Awesome Trail !! Built by Mtn. Bikers for Mtn. Bikers. The overall trail is very rollery, well maintained, and smooth. Of the whole track RIB CAGE is the best section and comparable to a pump track.

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