Photo by Andy Platt

Skyline Trail


Description: 5.3 miles (8.5 km) one way (can be done as a shuttle from one end to the other). Round trip distance is 10.6 miles (17.06 km). Allow 3-4 hours one way or 6-8 hours round trip.

This trail goes from 10,200 feet to 8,300 feet (3,048 to 2,438 meters) in elevation from east to west. The bulk of the trail follows historic CCC terraces and the ridgeline of Tuerto Canyon with expansive views above treeline before heading down to the west trailhead through dense scrub oak. This trail is in good condition and is open to hikers and horseback riders. This trail is an excellent hike and provides perhaps the most spectacular views off the Abajos and into the canyonlands and Chippean Ridge area to the south and Tuerto Canyon to the north.

The trail begins at the same trailhead as Shay Ridge a motorized trail. From here, it contours around a terrace built by the CCC to reduce flooding of farmers and ranchers in the Blanding, UT area. The views from this area are expansive and beautiful. The trail is relatively level descending to 9,900 feet (3,017 km)by the time it leaves the terraces for the ridgeline to the west.

Be sure to continue straight west at the trail junction with Blue Creek/Allen Canyon Trail #013. From here the trail follows the ridgeline above the trees with beautiful views both north and south. To the north is Tuerto Canyon a steep fingered canyon.  

Finally, the trail begins to descend off the ridgeline and into the scrub oak forest for the final approximate mile. The trail then intersects The Causeway Road/Forest Road #095 where a car shuttle could be parked to eliminate back-tracking on the same trail to the starting point. 

Loops can be made using this trail and other area trails. The other trails which can be used to complete various loops include: Tuerto (#011),Tuerto-Skyline (#457), Trough Canyon (#163), Blue Creek-Tuerto (#014) and Blue Creek-Allen (#013).

Difficulty Level:

Usage: Medium


Open to: Hiking and Horseback Riding

Water: There is no water available along this trail. Users should carry their own water

Restroom: There is no restroom available

Operated by: Forest Service

Information Center: Monticello Ranger District (435) 587-2041

Directions: From Monticello, head south on U.S. 191/Main St. and travel 18.6 miles (30 km). Turn right at E Pinion Ridge Road just after the sign to Devils Canyon Campground follow road 0.7 miles (1.1 km). Turn right at Blue Mountain Road, which becomes Johnson Creek Road/Forest Road #095 and follow this road 10.6 miles (17.05 km) to the junction with Forest Road #079 towards Nizhoni Campground and turn right on Forest Road #079. Continue 9 miles (14.48 km) to Jackson Ridge Road/Forest Road #354 where the sign indicates Shay Ridge Trail and turn left. Follow the road 1.8 miles (2.9 km) to its end at the trailhead labeled as Shay Ridge Trailhead.

Latitude: 37 49’ 49.5”N (37.830421 Decimal Degrees)

Longitude: 109 36’ 17.2”W (-109.604776 Decimal Degrees)