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Tag: pollock bench

The High Trail of Flume Creek Canyon

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The ledge varies in width, 10 to 20 feet at the wider places, less than 30 inches at the narrowest. Yet this precarious shelf is a well-traveled road… Over the High Trail, great bands of sheep, herds of white-faced cattle, packers and camp movers, with their strings of loaded pack horses, pass on their migrations between the Black Ridge country and the lowlands along the Colorado River.

-Will C. Minor

This evening after work I headed back into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness in search of a historic route known as the High Trail which is located in upper Flume Creek Canyon. After visiting Will Minor Arch on a bench above Mee Canyon last weekend I was interested to find out more about who Will Minor was, so I did a little searching to see what I could dig up. I didn’t find much information online, but I did come across this article from the Daily Sentinel written by Bob Silbernagel in 2013. My interest was very piqued as I read about the High Trail and I knew instantly that I had to go looking for this route! Using the two photos from the article as reference and Google Earth, I was quickly able to figure out what I thought was the location of the trail in upper Flume Creek Canyon, and I wanted to get out there as quickly as I could to find out if I was correct!

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Pollock Canyon

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.

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Upper Pollock Canyon

Liberty Bell Arch
Sunday, May 10, 2015

After spending the last two weekends backpacking in Grand Gulch I needed to spend a more relaxing weekend at home so I could start preparing for an upcoming trip on the San Juan River later this week. It had rained on and off all day on Saturday, but it looked like things might start finally clearing up on Sunday morning and I wanted to get out for at least one local hike this weekend. A few weeks back when I had hiked into the East Fork of Pollock Canyon I had run into Steve Obser, another local hiker, who had mentioned a nice arch in the upper section of the canyon that is known as Liberty Bell Arch (I have recently seen this same arch called Pollock Arch and Picture Window Arch). I thought that this arch might make for a nice destination this morning, so I decided to hike into the upper Pollock Canyon for a little exploring. After looking at my maps, it looked like hiking up the trail through Flume Creek Canyon and then crossing over the saddle at the far end of the Pollock Bench would be the shortest route into the upper canyon, so that’s the way I went. It was a pretty straight-forward hike and got me where I wanted to go, though I’m not really sure if it saved me much distance or elevation gain. I ended up hiking about 9.3 miles round trip this morning.

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Pollock Bench Loop

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I didn’t get out hiking yesterday like planned, so I had to make sure that I got outside today! I decided to head over to the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness near Fruita this afternoon and hiked the Pollock Bench Loop which follows the edge of the higher bench between Flume Creek Canyon and the East Fork of Pollock Canyon. While I really dislike having to post photos that really aren’t that great on my blog, I can’t always hike in great photographic conditions all the time and today was one of those days. With another winter storm moving into the area, the sky was overcast all day and the conditions outside were generally gloomy. Aside from the gray skies the temperature out was very comfortable for hiking and it never rained or snowed while I was on the trail. The complete loop ended up being about 7 miles in length.

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Flume Creek Canyon

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Since I never made it to Flume Creek Canyon yesterday, Diane and I decided to hike it this afternoon together. I wasn’t expecting too much from this hike, but it turned out to be a really beautiful and fun hike. Had we only stayed on the main trail it would have been just another desert hike, but since we decided to get off the main trail and hike in the bottom of the canyon it was much more enjoyable. Getting off the main trail and into the bottom of the wash was a great choice because there were some cool narrows to hike though and the canyon eventually boxed up at the end under an impressive dry waterfall. Once we reached the end we had to backtrack a little way, but then we had fun climbing up a steep route out of the canyon to join up with the main trail again.

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