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Grand Junction, CO: Black Ridge Trail

Take in far-reaching vistas of high peaks and russet canyons on this 5.4-mile shuttle hike in Colorado National Monument.

Trip Tools

The Black Ridge Trail—Colorado National Monument’s highest trail—offers views in every direction along its 5.4-mile course. Look for the rugged, 14,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains on the southern horizon. Grand Junction, the Grand Valley, and the Book Cliffs are ever-present to the east and north beyond the Monument’s steep-walled canyons. In late spring, the high desert gains new shades of green as native grasses come up between the piƱon and juniper—blooming Indian paintbrush also add splashes of crimson to the brown-and-green landscape. Hike this scenic route north to south for a steady climb, or start at the southern end for a leisurely, 900-foot descent to the visitor center.
Mapped by Genny Wright, Jenn Fields, and Tim Shisler

To Trailhead

Start: From 1st St. and Grand Ave., head west on Grand Ave. (becomes Broadway Ave.). In 10.3 miles, turn left onto Rim Rock Dr. In 4.4 miles, bear right to stay on Rim Rock Dr. Go 100 feet to visitor center parking area on left. End: From 1st St. and Grand Ave., head west on Grand Ave. (becomes Broadway Ave.). In 0.9 mile, Turn left onto Monument Rd. (becomes Rim Rock Dr.). Go 15.1 miles to trailhead parking.

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