Carnage Canyon

Johnson Village, Colorado (Chaffee County)

Last Updated: 05/09/2019
5 / 5 ( 2 reviews )
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Permit Information: Permit Required - Click Here
Length: 0.94 miles
Highest Elevation: 8493 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Johnson Village
Nearest Town w/ Services: Johnson Village
Official Road Name: 6042
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Salida Ranger District
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Highlight: Carnage Canyon
Carnage Canyon, or Carnage BV as it is sometimes referred too, is an extreme rock crawling trail. Though it is less than a mile long, this trail will take the majority of the day to complete depending on the group size and the trail repairs needed. It is impossible to get through without a winch and a minimum of 37'' tires. Lockers are required and vehicle damage is almost a certainty. This route features huge boulders, daunting waterfall climbs, and a V-Notch obstacle that pushes most vehicles onto their sides. This trail should not be attempted if you do not meet the posted requirements at the trailhead.



7 day forecast for Carnage Canyon

Route Information

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Chinaman Gulch and Carnage Canyon share the same trailhead parking lot. There is plenty of room here for any number of vehicles to air down and prep for the trail. During the summer months, there is an outhouse on site provided by the local 4x4 club that has adopted Chinaman's. From the parking lot, follow the road heading directly east until you come to the first obstacle and the trail sign for Carnage Canyon.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.792130, -106.085150

Starting Point: Johnson Village

Take Highway 285 to Johnson Village. There are gas stations there where you can fill up if you need to. Just east of town between the rafting building and mile marker 214, you'll see county road 301 heading south. Take that road for 1.6 miles till you see a red barn and house on your right. Just before the barn, across the road to your left you'll see a green gate marked "Prison Property" that runs in a straight line towards the mountains and an open area (you can see this open area from the main road). You will also see a small forest sign marking the direction to Chinaman Gulch and Carnage. Go down that road and after about a half mile you reach the open parking area where you can prepare your rig for the trail.



Land Use Issues

Travel along this route requires an OHV Permit for ALL vehicles, including street legal plated vehicles. Visit the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website to read more information on how to purchase OHV registrations and permits, and the projects that the OHV Registration program funds, call (303) 791-1920, or visit one of the OHV Registration Locations. This trail is also under threat for permanent closure. Do to a recent lawsuit with the Pike San Isabel National Forest, this trail is part of nearly 500 miles of trails threatened to be closed. Find current information at Have a voice! Show you actually care! And speak up. It's NOT OK TO CLOSE TRAILS!

Trail Reviews (3)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I only made it a little ways (my group knew what was ahead and called it before we got there), but it sure was fun navigating the gatekeeper and Boulder field.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
12” of snow the night before made for a fun and slippery day. We had to winch more that usual, but always a great day on this trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We decided to join in on the fun of the Colorado Toyota Jamboree and hit the trail! Since we didn’t have a rig ready, we decided to hike along with the group. Luckily the sky stayed pretty cloudy so it was nice and cool. We had a variety of rigs in our group, about 9, from Jeep’s to Toyota’s to buggies of all shapes and sizes with a range of tire sizes from 35 inches all the way up to 49 inches! It’s been a while since I’ve seen this trail and it’s very washed out from all the heavy rain happening in the area. There was a good amount of body damage happening right off the bat on the entrance for those that had body panels. The group then got a bit caught up on the v-notch which is a very difficult part of the trail. Almost everyone had to winch up but some did make it unassisted. Once the first few rigs got up the group split up a bit and we continued with the front. We later learned that one truck near the back did flop there but was quickly rolled back over without issue. The exit was even nastier than the last time I’ve seen it. It’s a very steep, technical climb with giant ledges that you have to make two 90 degree turns on to get up. Everyone made it up, mostly without issue, and some without even winching, which is an amazing feat! Overall, damage to rigs was very minimal considering what this trail can do to you. Everyone had a great day!

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Ryan Boudreau

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Hi, I'm Ryan! I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion". I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure. My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others. If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.
For individual use only, not to be shared.