Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area
Black Ridge Canyons is the Moab Field Office’s one area of congressionally designated wilderness. This was designated in the year 2000, as part of the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area. This bill designated Black Ridge Canyons (in both Utah and Colorado) as wilderness. Black Ridge Canyons Wildereness is now part of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The Wilderness Area consists of 75,550 acres, of which 5,000 are in Utah. Vegetation is relatively sparse with scattered pinyon-juniper woodland.
The area's east-west Black Ridge is dissected by seven red rock canyons varying in length. These canyons feature geological characteristics such as spires, windows, giant alcoves and desert patina. Waterfalls can be found here during spring runoff and after summer thunderstorms. Deer, mountain lion, desert bighorn sheep, as well as golden and bald eagles make the area home. Recreational use of the area focuses upon visiting the canyons in conjunction with calm water float trips through Ruby Canyon and hiking the canyons to view the arches in Rattlesnake and Mee canyons. Visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, hunting, backpacking, and primitive camping, as well as rafting, canoeing and kayaking on the Colorado River. This wilderness is managed by the BLM Grand Junction Field Office.
The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area is 10 miles west of Grand Junction, one mile south of the town of Fruita and extends west into Utah. The Wilderness Area is situated along the south side of the Colorado River within the Dolores Triangle. It straddles the Utah-Colorado border, with the majority of the acreage being in Colorado. Access to the area is limited to floating down the river, dirt roads from the Glade Park, Colorado area, and hiking in from Colorado National Monument.
The McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area website has more information on The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness.