Vogel and Picket Wire Canyons

PicketwireYou can hike, bike or ride a horse to view the largest dinosaur track site in North America. On the trail to Picket Wire Canyon, pass walls resplendent with rock art and explore the Dolores Mission, the Old Rourke Ranch and remote cemeteries. Just off Hwy 109, on your way to Picket Wire Canyon, is the turn off for easier hiking at Vogel Canyon where you can follow the trails to a historic stage coach station near the Purgatoire River. In Vogel you can hike any one of the gentle two-mile loops and find abundant rock art.


National Forest Service Office
1420 E 3rd Street
La Junta,  CO  81050
(719) 384-2181

vogel canyonHours of Operation
Open year round daily.  Outdoor site.
From La Junta, Colorado drive south on Highway 109 for 13 miles; turn right (west) on County Road 802 (David Canyon Road). For Vogel Canyon continue on CR 802 for 1.5 miles. Turn left (south) on Forest Service Road 505A for 1.5 miles to the Vogel Canyon parking lot. For Picket Wire go 8 miles on CR 802. Turn left (south) on County Road 25 and travel for 6 miles. Turn left at Picket Wire Corrals onto Forest Service Road 500A. Travel along Forest Service Road 500A for 3 miles, following the signs to Withers Canyon Trailhead. Park at Withers Canyon Trailhead parking loop.
Visitor Services
Picnic Area
Pet Area
National Register District
State Register of Historic Places
Travel Tips
Most visitors prefer to visit the area in the spring when wild flowers are blooming and late August, September, and October when temperatures in the area tend to be more moderate. The auto tour is the only motorized access into the canyons. Other ways to visit include hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. Because of the rugged terrain and long distances to various sites, visitors need to plan carefully for hot weather conditions by carrying ample water and leaving very early
Entrance Fees
None for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding. Tours of Picket Wire Canyon are offered through the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program of the USDA Forest Service. They cost $15 per adult and $7.50 per child. Due to rough roads, visitors will need their own four-wheel drive high clearance vehicle.
Posted in All Heritage Attractions, Archaeology, Geology & Paleontology, Canyons, National Register of Historic Places, Native American History, Parks, Trails.