“A gradual descent below dramatic canyon walls and past ruins.
— Eric Ashley
River/Creek · 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
Conditions change rapidly with weather events and during spring runoff. Check with the Monticello Ranger District for updated information.
From a small clearing off of FS Road 340, the Woodenshoe Trail begins descending through a forest of pine, aspen and oak. The first mile brings runners into the Dark Canyon Wilderness, and soon to the southern reaches of Woodenshoe Canyon.
Ahead, the trail makes its way to the bottom of the canyon floor through a section of low cliffs. The forest is dense here and makes for a pleasantly shady experience. As the trail turns to the northwest (left), look behind you to enjoy the view down Cherry Canyon. The nearby ruin is well worth checking out, and is also a good turnaround spot for a shorter out-and-back.
From here, the trail begins to follow a low depression around a stream bed as it travels through the wide canyon floor. Above, towering sandstone cliffs present a dramatic backdrop on either side. As the depression widens, the trail more frequently cuts between turns in the stream bed.
Before the 10-mile mark, a small scramble brings runners along a narrow limestone ledge following the contours of the canyon. At 12.8 miles, a perennial stream flows along the canyon bottom, adding to the appeal of nearby campsites. The Dark Canyon West Trail (006)
is reached after a few more miles of gentle descending.