Fall Colors · Views
Please Respect and Protect archaeological sites: Stay on trail, help prevent damage. Don’t move artifacts, let everyone enjoy the discovery. Stay out of ancient buildings and off walls, they are fragile! Report looting and vandalism: 1-800-722-3998
While West Rim Texas Canyon is by no means a destination trail in itself, if you are in the area and looking for utter solitude and good views, and don't much care about the condition of the tread underfoot, then West Rim Texas Canyon is for you.
The easiest starting point for this trail is off Arch Canyon Road at an easy-to-miss fork. Parking at the fork is the best choice for low-clearance vehicles, as the road ahead can be littered with medium-to-large ruts oriented in such a way that even staying high with your tires, you can inadvertently slip down in. For those with higher clearance, don't be discouraged. Even after some of the worst rain this area saw during the fall of 2016, this section of road was easily tackled by a stock Toyota Tacoma with bald all-season tires (or "racing slicks" as their owner affectionately called them). If you can make it up the road, simply park off to the side at the first fork you come to.
Starting at this point, follow the road to the left as it climbs steadily through rolling terrain, intermittently slogging up short but hellaciously steep grades clad with softball-sized loose rocks. After a few miles of this, the trail reaches a wooden hitching post and a brown wooden sign noting the trail direction. Follow the sign's instructions and climb yet another rutted, loose, ridiculously un-fun climb up a red dirt section of road. However, don't fear, as the climb is relatively short, and upon reaching the top, it rewards you with nice views of the surrounding area, including the swirling white sandstone of Texas Canyon.
At this point, the trail makes its way through a narrow bit of cliffside singletrack before descending steeply on the other side of the ridge through deciduous forest. From here, the white sandstone of Texas Canyon truly comes into view, directly before the trail takes a confusing right turn across a ravine to rejoin doubletrack on the other side.
Navigating more overgrown doubletrack, the trail continues up and over rolling terrain alongside Texas Canyon for the remainder of its length. Thankfully, it ends in a more established jeep track not far from Elk Mountain Road and just a short distance from the famed Bears Ears rock formations.
Shared By: Hunter R