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Black Ridges Canyon

Black Ridges Canyon

Posted in: Nearly Nearby Attractions, Outdoor adventures on March 9, 2019.

Expanding Our Scope

Seeing as how we at the Lodge live in Southern Utah, we typically write about Southern Utah stuff in this blog. But since natural geography only sometimes contributes to the formation of political boundaries, there are a lot of cool places in the surrounding states. So some of the locations that we want to talk about might be just over the border in Arizona, Nevada, or in today’s case, Colorado. So let’s talk about the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness and Rattlesnake Canyon.

Looking over black ridges canyon

Black Ridges Canyon Wilderness. Photo by Matt McGrath Black via Wikimedia Commons.

The What Now?

The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness is a region of Western Colorado that just barely makes its way into Utah. If you can image driving east from Moab, Utah to Grand Junction, Colorado, then you’ve got a pretty good idea of where it is. The wilderness area protects seven canyons that dissect the Colorado Plateau. The rivers of these canyons all empty into the mighty Colorado River, and, along the way, they create some pretty remarkable scenery. Our favorite of the seven canyons is Rattlesnake Canyon

Unknown, Undeveloped, and Under-appreciated

Rattlesnake Canyon has the second-highest concentration of natural arches in the world. The only other place on earth with a higher concentration is Arches National Park. But since Rattlesnake Canyon isn’t a national park, and doesn’t have the same amount of development, nobody really knows about it. So here are a couple of suggestions to help you explore Rattlesnake Canyon and the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness area in general

“Looking up at the cedar tree arch

Cedar Tree Arch. Photo by Pretzelpaws via Wikimedia Commons.

How To Explore Rattlesnake Canyon

  • You can get to the more accessible part of Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness via Highway 340, from Fruita, Colorado. But to get to Rattlesnake Canyon you’ll need to enter what’s known as the High Country via Glade Park, Colorado. Here it is mapped.
  • Have we mentioned that the area is undeveloped? You’ll need to take a high-clearance, four wheel-drive vehicle on these primitive roads. Also keep in mind that the roads are closed seasonally.
  • Once you get there, hike the Rattlesnake Canyon Arches trail, you’ll get to see all the best that the canyon has to offer. Including the majestic Cedar Tree Arch. Trail details here.

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