Misery Ridge Loop Trail Run: 3.7 Miles round trip from the Welcome Center
Get the views from Misery Ridge, but run it in the reverse direction most people choose—going along the river, then up. Doing the loop this way takes you past the main climbing area, then wanders around the Crooked River to provide you with a spectacular view of Monkey Face, the park’s icon.
Down the steep scree Chute Trail, cross the bridge, left on the flat River Trail, up the steeper Mesa Verde Trail and down the steep scree Misery Ridge Trail back to the bridge.
Take the Chute Trail into the park from the Overlook just past the Welcome Center as it starts past the paved section and continues toward the bridge.
After crossing the bridge, go left and stay on the River Trail to connect to the Mesa Verde Trail up to the base of Monkey Face, then head up the Misery Ridge Trail from there.
Once at the top of the ridge you are head level with Monkey Face, and it’s a breathtaking view of the river gorge and trail system below.
Follow it around and down the steep scree section, watching your balance and footing for the steep 900 feet descent back to the River Trail and the bridge out of the park.