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Tag: uncompahgre plateau

West Pollock Arch & Window Rock Tower

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness
Sunday, June 7, 2020

This weekend I was hoping to get back on the river with a couple of friends again, but it seems that Mother Nature had other plans for us. Between severe thunderstorms on Saturday and very strong winds on Sunday, we decided it was best to cancel our river plans this weekend and try again another time. On Sunday afternoon I decided it was time to get out of the house for a little while and went on a short local hike to visit West Pollock Arch in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness. Even though it was windy out, the temperature had dropped significantly because of the passing storm on Saturday, making it perfect weather for hiking. Plus I figured the strong winds would help keep the gnats away that are usually prevalent at this time of the year. I left home in the middle of the afternoon and drove over Black Ridge to the Rattlesnake Arches Trailhead to start my hike. When I arrived there was only one other vehicle at the trailhead and they were just leaving. I was surprised since it was a nice day and this is usually a popular trailhead. After descending to the lower Rattlesnake Arches Trail on the bench below I headed east past Window Rock Tower to the rim of the West Fork of Pollock Canyon.

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Hanging Flume Canyon: San Miguel & Dolores Rivers

Rivers of the West End | Uravan Ballpark to the Rimrocker Trail
Saturday, May 30, 2020

I had high hopes of floating more ephemeral desert rivers this spring like I did last year, but unfortunately this year hasn’t quite panned out as well as I had hoped it would. Many of the rivers that I wanted to float this year just haven’t had enough water in them and the snowpack is almost gone in most places, so it’s not looking very good. However, while keeping an eye on the local rivers of western Colorado earlier this month, it was looking like the San Miguel River might be our best chance for a float, so I tentatively planned a trip with Jackson for the last weekend in May through Hanging Flume Canyon and hoped for the best. During the week leading up to this weekend I kept a close eye on the water levels and forecast for the San Miguel and things were looking pretty good, especially with the little heat wave that we experienced towards the end of the week, so on Friday our tentative plans turned into a definitive plan for Saturday and I was really looking forward to getting on the lower San Miguel and Dolores Rivers this year!

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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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The Arches of Mee Canyon

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness | 1,000th Trip Report
Saturday & Sunday, April 25-26, 2020

Before I get started, I just wanted to note that this Trip Report marks an important milestone in the history of ADVENTR.co. This is the 1,000th Trip Report that I have posted to this blog! As much as I would have loved to have gone somewhere further from home for this special occasion, it is what it is, and with the current restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to stay close to home this time. When this year began, I had no idea I’d end up spending so much time exploring these areas closer to home, and I have really been enjoying getting to know the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness area a little better these past few weeks!

It’s been just about a month since our last backpacking trip into Lower Muley Twist Canyon, and I was ready to get out for another one. We try to get out on at least one backpacking trip each month, minus winter, and we didn’t want to let April get away from us, so we kept it close to home and went on an easier overnight trip into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness area. This weekend we went in search of half a dozen or so arches that are located on a bench above Mee Canyon, similar to the location of the more popular Rattlesnake Canyon Arches that are found nearby.

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Canyons of the Black Ridge: The Pollock Windows

Between the Forks of Pollock Canyon
Thursday, April 23, 2020

If the current COVID-19 pandemic had not completely changed everyone’s lives these past few weeks, then Diane and I would have left right after work today for another three day backpacking trip into The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. But since that is obviously not happening anymore, I decided instead to head out after work on another local adventure so that I could finally visit The Windows of Pollock Canyon in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness. This is another one of those hikes that has been on my to-do list for a long time, and while I have seen the Pollock Windows from below in the East Fork of Pollock Canyon before, I’ve always wanted to hike to them for a closer look. Even though the sky was pretty much overcast for much of the day in the Grand Valley, the weather forecast was calling for it to clear up a little bit in the evening, so I was hoping for a nice sunset while I was out!

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