Irish Canyon ACEC

Irish Canyon is a relatively remote and highly scenic canyon. It is designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) because of its unique geology, scenery, plant species, and cultural resources. Twelve of the twenty-two geologic formations found in the eastern end of the Uinta Mountains occur here. The beginning of the canyon is not more than 50 yards wide with steep walls with layers of red, green, and gray. Elevations range from 6,100 to 8,636 feet. Such outlaws as Butch Cassidy and the wild bunch, Matt Warner, Isom Dart, and others spent much of their time in the Browns Park area during the early 1900s. There is an interpretive exhibit of ancient petroglyphs at the south entrance to Irish Canyon along with short hiking trail. There are other unmarked cultural sites in and around the area. Archeological sites are special places that tell the story of our past. These fragile irreplaceable heritage resources may not be readily visible so be aware and practice Leave No Trace principles. At the north end of the Canyon is a small campground with 6 sites with tables, fire pits, and one pit toilet. There are no developed trails, but hiking opportunities are available to the west to Limestone Ridge and Cold Spring Mountain, and to the east to Vermillion Canyon and the colorful badlands along Vermillion Creek. Primitive roads to the east and west provide excellent mountain biking opportunities to view the region particularly on Cold Spring Mountain. Motorized and mechanized travel is limited to designated routes marked with signs.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips

Geographic Coordinates

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From the community of Maybell, Colorado on U.S. Highway 40 turn northwest onto Colorado Highway 318 to Moffat County Road 10N (41 miles), which runs through Irish Canyon (4.5 miles from Colorado 318).