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Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness

Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness

The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness features distinctive spires and arches, massive alcoves, beautiful desert patina, and seven major red rock canyon systems. Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreation within the wilderness, mainly on the Colorado River. The Colorado River is not part of the National Conservation Area.

Mee Canyon encompasses a vast alcove; arches tower over Rattlesnake Canyon; and fossils are numerous in the Morrison Formation, including many varieties of dinosaurs, early mammals, eggs, crocodilians, turtles, fish, invertebrates, wood, pollen, and other plant species. There is also a 115-120 million-year-old sycamore in the Burro Canyon Formation.


Total Area: 
80,670 acres (75,550 Colorado; 5,120 Utah) 
Elevation Range: ~4,300 to ~7,130 feet
BLM Field Office: Grand Junction
Designated: 2000 (National Wilderness Preservation System)

Location: The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness is located in Mesa County, approximately two miles southwest of Fruita. The wilderness extends an additional 5,120 acres into Utah. It also makes up about 61 percent of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area (NCA) and is managed under the NCA.

Flora & Fauna: Vegetation consists mainly of pinyon-juniper, native grasses, and cottonwood, willow, and box elder along riparian drainage areas. Fauna includes desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, golden and bald eagles, peregrine falcons and various other raptors, and the collared lizard.

Recreation: Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, canyoneering, rock climbing, horseback riding, hunting, and photography. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Camp sites accessed by the Colorado River are available only with a permit. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in wilderness, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of wilderness conditions.

Click here for additional information and maps about the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness from the Grand Junction Field Office.


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Grand Junction Field Office  |  (970) 244-3000  |  2815 H Rd., Grand Junction, CO 81506