Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Recently I’ve been trying to get out on more hikes in the evening after work before the days start getting too short for that. Today I was looking for something close to home without too much elevation gain and settled on hiking up Big Wash which is located a short distance up Plateau Creek from I-70 along the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway. Big Wash drains part of the west side of the Grand Mesa starting up near Chalk Mountain and joins Plateau Creek just upstream from the Colorado River. It turned out to be a nice easy canyon hike with a trickle of water flowing through the canyon. While the water was nice to listen to as I hiked, it made for some very slick mud. I had to hop across rocks through many parts of the canyon to avoid the slippery mud. There were a couple of easy obstacles to scramble up and bypass, I just had to make sure to avoid the poison ivy at one of the bypasses. The hike ended at an overhanging waterfall inside a large wet alcove. I didn’t see a way around it so I turned around and headed back down. Here are a few photos from the short hike.
Following Big Wash into the canyon.
There were still a few wildflowers around.
These rocky ledges in the canyon were easy to climb up and down.
This was the turnaround point for the hike. I couldn’t find a way around the pour-over into this alcove.
There were a few ledges in the canyon that I needed to scramble up and down.
Evening light in Big Wash as I followed the trail back to my Jeep.
Below is a map of my GPS track from this short hike. Much of the hike follows the bottom of the wash, but there are a couple of places you need to scramble up around waterfalls.