Hiking Project Logo

blue No Thoroughfare Canyon Trail

  3.9 ( 14 ) Favorite


6.7 mile 10.8 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,980' 604 m
Descent: -161' -49 m
High: 6,828' 2,081 m
Low: 4,992' 1,522 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Brian Smith

Choose your adventure: an easy outing on maintained trail or a rugged backcountry experience!

Brian Smith

Features Views · Waterfall

Family Friendly The first pool is a great place to picnic and only about a mile from the trailhead.

Pets are only allowed on paved surfaces in the Monument. Pets are not allowed on trails.

If you decide to hike the entire canyon, use the Hiking Project mobile app to stay on track. The Park Service also recommends bringing a compass and topographic map. The trail is unmaintained beyond the second waterfall. Check the weather as flash floods pose an imminent danger.


This point-to-point hike heads directly through one of the most picturesque and remote canyons in Colorado National Monument. Depending on the time you visit, this canyon can house a few beautiful waterfalls along the way, some of which turn to ice falls in the colder months.


From the east entrance, drive 0.2 miles to the trailhead. There is limited parking available on the left. For additional parking, turn right into the Devils Kitchen Picnic Area. The trailhead is shared with three other trails: Old Gordon Trail, Serpents Trail and Devils Kitchen Trail.

No Thoroughfare Canyon starts with a descent from the plateau on a maintained trail before transitioning to an unmaintained route through the remote canyon. The canyon walls rise over 400 feet above you as you hike in awe. Because of how isolated and primitive this route is, most visitors do not venture the entire route.

No Thoroughfare Canyon offers visitors to Colorado National Monument the chance to roam through a tight canyon in the oldest layer of rock within the park. If you follow the dry wash for about 1 mile, you'll reach the first pool, which can make a good turnaround point if you're looking for a short, 2-mile hike. The pool is a beautiful little oasis that exists in juxtaposition to the otherwise arid environment. This is a great place to enjoy a picnic.

You can also continue for another 0.8 miles to the first waterfall if you're looking to hike a little while longer and see more of what the canyon has to offer. The trail continues as an unmaintained route past the waterfall all the way to the upper trailhead along Little Park Road.

Flora & Fauna

Because of the existence of running water in No Thoroughfare Canyon, beautiful flora exist here. Look for various species of flowering cacti as you hike.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, History & Background

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.


Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Apr 30, 2019
Steven Springer
Apr 1, 2019
Tony H
Aug 18, 2018
Tyler Hincy
Only did the partial trail to the main waterfall. All dried up though !
Jul 22, 2018
Paul Carlson
Jun 9, 2018
Rian Campbell
Jun 8, 2018
Jenna Lucas
May 27, 2018
Josh McCarty
Apr 8, 2018
Malia Ford

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 14 votes


  3.9 from 14 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Hike Rankings


in Colorado


94 Views Last Month
3,630 Since Jan 29, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking