The Black Ridge Canyons WSA is a very small unit of land that is adjacent to the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness. The boundaries of this WSA are between the 100-year high water mark and the southern border of the Colorado River. The unusual shape and size of this WSA is due to congressional consideration of adjacent lands as wilderness.
Nearby are four major canyons, ranging from 500 to 600 feet deep, that dissect this northern terminus of the Uncompahgre Plateau, creating a spectacular setting. The Rattlesnake Canyon area has one of the largest concentrations of natural arches in the world. Though the Black Ridge Canyons WSA is too small for many recreational or scenic opportunities, the adjoining Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area both host many.
Elevation Range: ~4,300 to ~7,130 feet (Wilderness)
BLM Field Office: Grand Junction
Designated: 1980 (Wilderness Study Area)
Location: The Black Ridge Canyons WSA is located in Mesa County, approximately two miles southwest of Fruita. It abuts the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness and is also within the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Click here for a map.
Flora & Fauna: Vegetation consists mainly of pinyon-juniper, native grasses, cottonwood, willow and box elder. Fauna includes desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, golden and bald eagles, peregrine falcons, various other raptors, and collared lizard.
Recreation: Nearby activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, canyoneering, rock climbing, horseback riding, hunting and photography. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in WSAs, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of natural conditions.
Click here for additional information 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