top of page

Stage 12 : Woodenshoe Canyon - Bears Ears

National Geographic
NatGeo MAB S12 merge1.png
Sat MAB S12 merge1.png

Possible water source


Eventually, Woodenshoe Canyon opens up, and the trail takes us through a very pleasant forested area, and across grassy meadows. Upon exiting the canyon, the trail heads very gently uphill towards South Elk Ridge. This is a bit of a long grind, but there are some lovely groves of aspen trees along the way. Eventually, we reach the trailhead, with information boards, and a trail register (S12P05).


The good dirt road continues across the plateau. There are many numbered side roads in this area, and there appear to several options for heading towards Bears Ears. Some of the small roads seem to peter out into the forest, but it is generally easy enough to continue on in the general direction of our goal.


As we approach Bears Ears (S12P10) we hit a maintained dirt road (Elk Mountain Road), that leads all the way down to the highway, Hwy-295. There appear to be several ways to leave this good road and head cross-country to take a shortcut to the highway, but it may be easiest just to stick to the main dirt road. There are some fantastic distant views below us of the network of canyons splicing through Cedar Mesa.

Total Ascent
Total Descent
Min Elevation
Max Elevation
11.1 miles
Useful Locations

S11P05          N37° 43.015' W109° 56.077'      Possible water

S12P05          N37° 39.550' W109° 54.591'      Woodenshoe Canyon trailhead

S12P10          N37° 37.778' W109° 52.052'      Bears Ears

Elevation Profile
S12 Elev v1.png

Woodenshoe Canyon

Bears Ears


Bears Ears


Bears Ears

Water Availability
Water/Food Cache
Woodenshoe Road (4WD if wet)
Elk Mountain Road
S11P05        Spring
bottom of page