The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness now contains a total of 75,439 acres and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Colorado contains approximately 70,319 acres. Utah contains approximately 5,120 acres. In 2000 the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness became part of the now over 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. In an age of "...increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization,..."
you play an important role in helping to "...secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness"
as called for by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964
. Please follow the regulations in place for this area, and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting to ensure protection of its unique natural and experiential qualities.
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply.
Leave No Trace principles:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles (including OHVs), motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation. In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the agency for more information about regulations.
Grand Junction Field Office
2815 H Road
Grand Junction,CO, 81506
Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness is located approximately 15 miles west of Grand Junction, Colorado. It is bordered by the Colorado National Monument to the east and the Colorado/Utah boundary to the west, with a small portion actually spilling into Utah. The Wilderness is included within the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area (MCNCA), which was legislatively designated in October of 2000.
DIRECTIONS TO DEVILS, FLUME, POLLOCK BENCH, AND RATTLESNAKE CANYON TRAILS: From Grand Junction, take I-70 west to the Fruita exit (#19), 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: 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. From Grand Junction, take I-70 west to the Fruita Exit (#19) 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.
COLORADO RIVER ACCESS: The most spectacular access into the canyon mouths is by floating 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.