Elk Ridge Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

The Elk Ridge Recreation Area is located in San Juan County, Utah, west of Monticello and north of Blanding in southeastern Utah.  It lies west of Cottonwood Road to Elk Ridge, west to the Dark Canyon Wilderness boundary, and from the north Forest boundary to the south Forest boundary.  The easiest access is from SR-95.  It is in close proximity to Natural Bridges NM to the southwest, Canyonlands NP to the north and Blanding, Utah to the southeast.

The Elk Ridge Road runs the length of the areas from the north to the south.  Dark Canyon and its tributaries begin high on the edge of Elk Ridge at an elevation of 8,800 feet and cut through layers of sandstone and limestone to the upper reaches of Lake Powell and the Colorado River, ending up at 3,700 feet.  The Forest Service manages the upper end of the canyon, which includes the 45,000 acre Dark Canyon Wilderness Area.

Information on the Elk Ridge Scenic Backway can be found HERE.

Dark Canyon Wilderness information can be found HERE.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Weather and snow melt will affect open and closing. Roads are impassable when wet. For current conditions on the Monticello Ranger District call 435-587-2041.
Closest Towns: Blanding and Monticello, UT

General Information


You can get to the area by following the Elk Ridge road which begins at the junctions of SR-95 and SR 275, west of Blanding, UT. After a mile, turn onto FR-088. This backway follows the Elk Ridge spine at almost 9000ft often as a single lane so use caution. The Elk Ridge road ends on the north side at SR-211. Please contact the Monticello Ranger District if you need additional information at 435-636-3340.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Areas for Mountain Biking at Elk Ridge Recreation Area


Areas for Snowmobiling at Elk Ridge Recreation Area

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
5500' - 10,500'