Accessing the Wilderness

ACCESS TO THE BLACK RIDGE CANYONS WILDERNESS:  The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness can be accessed by hiking or horseback riding in from any of the trailheads on the Wilderness perimeter, or by floating the Colorado River.  Devils, Flume, Pollock Bench and Rattlesnake Canyon trails are located along the northeast perimeter, and Rattlesnake Arches, Mee, Knowles and Jones Canyon trails are on the south side of the wilderness. 

DIRECTIONS TO DEVILS, FLUME, POLLOCK BENCH,  AND RATTLESNAKE CANYON TRAILS:   From Grand Junction, take I-70 west to the Fruita exit, turn left and cross back over I-70 and go 1.5 miles to the Kings View Estates subdivision.  Turn right, in to the subdivision and stay on the main road.  It's approximately .5 miles to the Devils Canyon trail turnoff, on your left - look for the yellow gate.  Continuing down the main road a little farther, approximately 1.5 miles, will bring you to the Pollock Bench, Flume and Rattlesnake Canyon trailhead.  

DIRECTIONS TO KNOWLES AND JONES CANYON TRAILS:    From Grand Junction, travel west on Grand Avenue, cross over two bridges, at the next stop light turn left on to Monument Road, turn left at "D" Road. Follow D road until you come to a fork in the road, go left on to Little Park Road.  Follow Little Park Road until it meets up with DS Road, take a left on to DS Road to the Glade Park Store.  At the Glade Park Store take a right on to 16.5 Road go .5 miles to BS Road, turn left, it's another 12 miles to the Knowles Canyon trailhead.   Continuing on BS Road another 2.5 miles you will come to a locked gate at the end of the public road, this is the trailhead into Jones Canyon.  

DIRECTIONS TO RATTLESNAKE ARCHES AND MEE CANYON TRAILS:   From Grand Junction, take I-70 west to the Fruita Exit (#15) turn left at off ramp and cross back over I-70, follow signs to Colorado National Monument (CNM).  Enter the CNM.  Travel 11 miles from CNM entrance station, turn right at sign for "Glade Park Store".  Travel .2 miles to Black Ridge Access Roads (Upper and Lower).  At this point you are adjacent to the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness.  The Rattlesnake Arches trailhead is approximately 13 miles ahead.  NOTE:  There is no charge for traveling through the Colorado National Monument to access the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness.  Inform the attendant at the entrance gate that your destination is the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness and you will be permitted to pass through the monument at no cost.

There are two roads that parallel the southern boundary that are seasonally opened to motorized travel.  These roads provide access to Rattlesnake Canyon/Arches and Mee Canyon trailheads.  The Upper Road is open from April 15 - August 15, with the Lower Road being open from August 15 - February 15.  Both roads are closed to motorized travel from February 15 - April 15.  Biking, hiking and horseback are allowed on both access roads throughout the year.  CAUTION:  A high clearance 4X4 vehicle is required for the last 1.5 miles.  DO NOT drive on either road when wet. 

COLORADO RIVER ACCESS:  The most spectacular access into the canyon mouths is by floating the Ruby-Horsethief stretch of the Colorado River from the Loma boat launch.  Rattlesnake Canyon has a hidden mouth 3.3 miles below the Loma put-in. Mee and Knowles Canyons are the two longest canyon systems and their river entrances are popular campsites for the river trips and hiking.  Private land blocks river access to Jones Canyon in Utah.  The Loma boat launch is reached via I-70 west of Grand Junction to the Loma exit.  Go south on the overpass and follow the signs to the launch.  No permit is required for day use of the river.