Dark Canyon West Trail


Dark Canyon West (5006)

Description: The Dark Canyon West Trail #006 is 12.5 miles long. It begins at Forest Road #089 (Peavine Corridor) and ends at W. Forest Service Boundary. Just before the end of this trail at the Forest Service Boundary it intersects #165 (Woodenshoe) which it can be combined with for an overnight backpacking loop. Continuing on Dark Canyon West leads onto BLM land and the Sundance Trail which can be traveled to its end point (14 miles) at its trailhead off of Co Rd. 209A or Lake Powell. This trail travels through Dark Canyon Wilderness, designated in 1984. As it’s name implies Dark Canyon has portions which rarely see sunlight due to the sheer and steep sandstone cliffs. The Wilderness was designated for its deep canyon graced with unique steep sandstone cliffs and a vast archeological record. Please leave what you find for future users to enjoy as well as for further research by archeologists. It is against the law to remove or disturb archeological resources.

This trail is in designated wilderness. This trail is very steep and narrow with some rocky drop-offs and unstable surfaces. Be sure that you are comfortable in this type of terrain. Horses are allowed on this trail but are not recommended due to the steep and rock trail conditions. This trail is often combined with other trails in Dark Canyon Wilderness for in-and-out and/or loop backpacking trips. Trails it maybe combined with include: #006 (West Dark Canyon Trail), #007 (Trail Canyon), #023 (Brushy Knoll), #025 (Horse Pasture), #026 (Kigalia Canyon), #157 (Peavine Canyon), #161 (Rig Canyon) and #165 (Woodenshoe).

Trail conditions vary widely with weather events and during spring runoff. Check with the Monticello Ranger District for updated information.

Difficulty Level:

Usage: Light


Open to: Hiking and Horseback Riding.

Water: Water is only seasonally available in Dark Canyon Wilderness. Users should carry water as well as systems to purify water. Users should contact the USFS for current water availability information.

Restroom: There is no restroom available.

Operated by: Forest Service

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

Directions: From Blanding, head south on US-191 S/S Main St and travel 3.9 miles. Turn right onto UT-95 N and travel 6.3 miles. Turn right onto Co Rd 228/Cottonwood and travel 4.9 miles. Slight left to stay on Co Rd 228/Cottonwood and travel 0.4 miles. Continue onto Elk Mountain (Forest Road #092 South Elks) and travel 14.6 miles. Slight right onto Elk Ridge Road #088 and travel 1.8 miles. Turn left onto Peavine Corridor Road #089 and travel 9.9 miles to Dark Canyon West Trail #006.

Latitude: 37 47’ 55.9”N (37.798879 Decimal Degrees)

Longitude: 109 52’ 5.5”W (-109.868189 Decimal Degrees)