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      Located near Cortez, Colorado and situated in the deserts of the southwest, this National Monument boasts the largest concentration of Pueblo Indian (Anasazi) ruins in the U.S. with about 6,000 recorded archaeological sites These are just the sites that have been recorded and documented. The popular Sand Canyon Trail is 6.5 miles (one-way) from Sand Canyon Pueblo down to the lower trailhead in McElmo Canyon. The trail is open to hiking, horseback riding, and mountain bicycling, but the upper section is steep and rugged– not recommended for bicycles. Part of the singletrack dirt trail crosses slick rock marked with rock cairns. Combining the main canyon trail with other trails, such as the East Rock Creek Trail, makes for an enjoyable loop. Do not enter structures, climb on walls, take or move artifacts, or touch rock art–the oils on your skin accelerate deterioration of this rare evidence of past lives. Collect nothing and leave what you see for others to enjoy. Pack out your trash and do not leave “offerings.” These only confuse the meaning of the sites.

      History: There are points of interest to the north and for people wanting to educate themselves about the Pueblo culture they can visit the Anasazi Heritage Center, the Canyons of the Ancients headquarters with some of the best information available. This is a museum with artifacts, historical information, maps and much more.
      Primary Trail Type: Cross-Country
      AKA: Canyon of the Ancients
      Sand Canyon Pueblo google parking directions
      Access Info:
      Main Trailhead (Canyon of the Ancients Parking Area)
      Secondary Canyon of the Ancients Parking Area
      Sand Canyon Pueblo Parking Area
      To main trailhead:

      Sand Canyon Trails are located about 12 miles north of Cortez on Highway 184. To reach the McElmo Canyon trailhead, head south of Cortez on Highway 491. Turn right (west) on County Road G at the signs for the airport and/or Hovenweep National Monument. Go 12 miles on this paved road. Trailhead parking is an unimproved slickrock surface on the north (right) side of the road. An additional parking area was added to Sand Canyon just east of the Canyon of the Ancients main trailhead. A 0.4-mile singletrack trail connects this secondary parking area to the main trail system.
      Activities Click to view
      Region Details
      • 3
      • 3

      Region Status
      Open as of May 23, 2024
      Local Trail Association

      Stats

      Avg Trail Rating
      Trails (view details)
      7
      Trails Mountain Bike
      6
      Trails Horse
      2
      Trails Hike
      7
      Trails Trail Running
      7
      Total Distance
      19 miles
      Total Descent
      1,694 ft
      Total Vertical
      1,418 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      6,861 ft
      Reports
      41
      Photos
      26
      Ridden Counter
      1,158

      Popular Sand Canyon Trails Mountain Biking Trails

      Recent Ride Log Activity in Region

      Today
      • 0 rides
      Yesterday
      • 0 rides
      Past Week
      • 1 rides

      Photos of Sand Canyon Trails Mountain Bike

      trail: Sand Canyon
      41 |
      May 18, 2023 @ 11:38am
      May 18, 2023
      trail: Sand Canyon
      41 |
      May 18, 2023 @ 11:38am
      May 18, 2023
      trail: Sand Canyon
      252 |
      Feb 2, 2020 @ 9:37pm
      Feb 2, 2020
      trail: Sand Canyon
      148 |
      Oct 24, 2019 @ 4:27pm
      Oct 24, 2019
      trail: Sand Canyon
      135 |
      Oct 24, 2019 @ 4:27pm
      Oct 24, 2019
      trail: Sand Canyon
      152 |
      Oct 24, 2019 @ 4:27pm
      Oct 24, 2019
      trail: Sand Canyon
      274 |
      Nov 3, 2015 @ 10:36am
      Nov 3, 2015
      trail: Sand Canyon
      295 |
      Nov 3, 2015 @ 10:36am
      Nov 3, 2015

      Videos of Sand Canyon Trails Mountain Bike

      Through Time and Space

      16:18 | 63 | Apr 2, 2022
      Biking Canyon of the Ancients
      2:44 | 539 | Nov 29, 2018 , Cortez

      Recent Trail Reports

      Activity Feed

      usernameactiontypetitledate
      gxm1402riddentrailactivity #52960704
      May 21, 2024 @ 6:37pm
      May 21, 2024
      mtbwandererriddentrailactivity #52850543 and 1 more
      May 19, 2024 @ 6:53pm
      May 19, 2024
      danzeroriddentrailactivity #52545249 and 2 more
      May 13, 2024 @ 9:27am
      May 13, 2024
      WillieJacobszupdatetrailactivity #52323280 and 3 more
      May 9, 2024 @ 9:51am
      May 9, 2024
      WillieJacobszupdateregionactivity #52323092
      May 9, 2024 @ 9:46am
      May 9, 2024

      Recent Comments

      usernametypetitlecommentdate
      johnputmantrailEast Rock CreekQuite the workout. Definitely blue/black....
      Sep 24, 2023 @ 12:26pm
      Sep 24, 2023
      ridewithmydogtrailEast Rock CreekSome higher tech rock ups and downs, but...
      May 19, 2023 @ 7:01pm
      May 19, 2023
      TmillhofftrailSand CanyonSuper fun Riding on slick rock and packed soil...
      May 3, 2022 @ 10:01am
      May 3, 2022
      TmillhofftrailSand CanyonPlease move your complaint to the app review,...
      May 3, 2022 @ 10:00am
      May 3, 2022
      bdealvatrailSand CanyonI clicked on the stars to see ratings for Sand...
      Mar 20, 2022 @ 1:09pm
      Mar 20, 2022

      Nearby Areas

      namedistance
      Canyons of the Ancients National Monument9.3 km
      Geer Natural Area 4 113.1 km
      Phil's World 9 17 117.8 km
      Phil's North 6 217.9 km
      Boggy Draw 19 522.5 km

      Activity Type Stats

      activitytypetrailsdistancedescentdescent distancetotal verticalratingglobal rankstate rankphotosreportsroutesridelogs
      Mountain Bike618 miles1,683 ft7 miles1,417 ft
      #4,271#1,9742641562
      Horse27 miles289 ft2 miles1,411 ft
      #229#17651
      Hike719 miles1,693 ft7 miles1,417 ft
      #3,457#1,80541120
      Trail Running719 miles1,693 ft7 miles1,417 ft
      #3,470#1,8104140
      • By schillingsworth TRAILFORKS HTA & contributors
      • Admins: SWCCA
      • #5168 - 4,188 views

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