Just south of La Junta, CO the Picket Wire Canyonlands are one of the only developed hiking areas in the Comanche National Grassland. These primitive canyons in the Comanche National Grasslands are home to the largest dinosaur track site in North America. Over 1,900 prints in 130 separate trackways extend across a quarter mile of bedrock along the banks of the Purgatoire River. The round-trip hike to the dinosaur tracks is 11.2 miles, starting at the Withers Canyon Trailhead. From the trailhead, descend 250 feet into the canyons. Pass several points of interest including the Dolores Mission and Cemetery. Continue beyond the paleontological area to the Rourke Ranch National Historic District (approximately 17 miles round trip). Because of the rugged terrain and long distances to various sites, hikers, bikers and equestrians need to plan for extreme heat. Leave early and carry at least one gallon of water per person.

When Open? Area Acres Operated By
Year-round; 24 hours a day 63,563 acres US Forest Service:
Comanche Ranger District
Dogs Allowed? Miles of Trail Max/Min Elev (ft)
Dogs allowed on leash 12 4,160ft - 4,890ft

La Junta Area Hiking Trail and Map Finder

Area Hiking Trails:
1 - Canyon Trail
2 - Mesa Trail
3 - Overlook Trail
4 - Picketwire Canyon Trail
5 - Prairie Trail
Area Trailheads:
1 - Overlook Trail
2 - Withers Canyon Trailhead
Area Campgrounds: