New Year’s Eve | Saturday, December 31, 2016
Diane and I headed out to the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area early this morning for our final hike of 2016. We started our hike from the Rattlesnake Canyon Trailhead near Fruita and hiked up to the top of the Pollock Bench before dropping down a steep trail into Upper Pollock Canyon so we could visit Liberty Bell Arch (Pollock Arch). After checking out the arch from a few different vantage points we decided to continue down Pollock Canyon instead of returning the way had come to create a ten mile loop. While I had hiked all of this route on different trips before, it was all new for Diane.
Following the trail along the rim of Flume Creek Canyon as we headed toward the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness.
It was a bit hazy this morning over the Grand Valley, so I took advantage of the conditions with a few photos shortly after sunrise.
Nice stripes in the sandstone that make up the Pollock Bench.
Another hazy view over the Colorado River to the Book Cliffs in the distance.
One last look through the haze over Flume Creek Canyon before the trail left the rim for a while.
When we reached the top of the Pollock Bench we had a nice view over the East Fork of Pollock Canyon.
After dropping down into the canyon and hiking up the wash while trying not to break through the ice, we reached a viewpoint right below Liberty Bell Arch.
The arch looks small in photos taken from below, so here is a photo of Diane sitting below it.
This photo was taken just below the arch from where Diane was sitting in the previous photo.
On the way back down the canyon we stopped to visit an old cabin.
Just some of the historic relics found inside.
Looking through the windows of the cabin.
Following Pollock Canyon back to the Rattlesnake Canyon Trail.
Diane hikes along the rim of Pollock Canyon after we climbed back out.
Just a small hoodoo above the trail as we made our way back to my Jeep.
That’s all for 2016! I’m looking forward to many more adventures in 2017!