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Month: April 2020

Canyons of the Black Ridge: Perseverance Arch

Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness: West Fork of Jones Canyon
Saturday, April 18, 2020

Hiking to Perseverance Arch in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness area has been on my to-do list for a long time. I’ve always thought that I would do it as an overnight backpacking trip since it’s a pretty long hike, which is part of the reason why I kept putting it off. Now that I’ve been having to stay closer to home during the quarantine, I’ve been going through my list of local hikes that I never made time for in the past, and I decided that it was finally time for me to visit Perseverance Arch and cross it off my list! I figured that this long and remote hike would offer me plenty of solitude near home on a Saturday when it seems like more people than ever are getting outdoors in the area. I left home well before sunrise on Saturday morning and drove up to the trailhead in Glade Park so I could get an early start.

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Kodels Point

McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
Friday, April 17, 2020

This evening after work I drove up to the Visitor Center in the Colorado National Monument so I could try to hike to the top of a distinctive high point located above Kodels Canyon. I’ve looked upon this prominent sandstone outcrop many times as I have driven west on I-70 through Fruita and always wondered if it would be possible for me to climb to the top of it. This point sits on a narrow strip of land within the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area that is sandwiched between the Colorado National Monument and the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness. Since this prominent butte is located right above Kodels Canyon, I have come to refer to it as Kodels Point, as it does not have an official name on any map that I have seen. Today was the day I was finally going to see if I could find a break in the cliffs and scramble to the top of the point, but to be honest, I knew that chances were going to be slim and that I would be perfectly happy just walking around the base of it and taking in the views while I was up there!

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Ribbon Canyon

Bangs Canyon Recreation Area
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

This evening after work I headed out to explore a local canyon that’s found near The Ribbon Trail in the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area, just outside of the Colorado National Monument. Earlier this year I had come across a recent canyoneering trip report for this canyon, which they called Ribbon Canyon, and I thought it looked like it would be a nice place to visit after work one day. Well, now that I have to stay closer to home, I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to check out this short canyon! Although the canyoneers who posted the original trip report had rappelled down into the canyon from above, I thought I’d hike up from the bottom to see how far I could get. It turns out that I was able to see the best parts of the canyon before I got stopped by a high dryfall. I must say, this is probably the nicest canyon that I have ever visited this close to home, and I really enjoyed my evening spent here!

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Lower Knowles Canyon via McDonald Creek

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness
Saturday, April 11, 2020

Ever since Diane and I spent a nice weekend exploring the upper reaches of Knowles Canyon within the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness area a couple of years ago, I have wanted to get back to explore the lower parts of the canyon. Now that I am stuck staying closer to home for the time being, I thought this would be a great time to finally get there to check it out, especially since I figured it would be a good place to practice social distancing, too!

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Colorado National Monument: Bench Trail Arch

Thursday, April 9, 2020

This evening I went for a short hike into the Colorado National Monument so I could finally get a closer look at Bench Trail Arch. While I’ve hiked below this arch on the Bench Trail a number of times before, it’s always been in the middle of a longer hike through the Monument, so I’ve skipped climbing up to it to save my energy. After work I drove over to the Wildwood Trailhead and arrived just as the temperature out dropped by about ten degrees and it started to rain and get windy. I guess a good thing about the bad weather was that there were only a few other vehicles in the parking lot, which can sometimes be a busy location. I checked the radar on my weather app and saw that this storm system was going to pass through pretty quickly, so I started hiking anyway. It was a little chilly and I got soaked at first, but once the rain and wind stopped, I dried off pretty quickly and warmed up again. Of course, all the rain made it pretty humid out for the rest of the hike, which was not very comfortable.

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