Stage 12 : Woodenshoe Canyon - Bears Ears
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.
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