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Knowles Canyon

Saturday & Sunday, October 29-30, 2016

Knowles Canyon Clouds
Nice clouds and morning light in Knowles Canyon on Sunday morning.

After taking last weekend off to stay home and relax a little, this weekend Diane and I headed deep into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness on an overnight backpacking trip into Knowles Canyon. We were in search of a few rock art sites thought to be hidden in the canyon, but unfortunately we would come up empty handed locating any of those on this trip. Instead, we would find a beautiful canyon with plenty of solitude only 20 miles from home. It’s nice to know that this kind of solitude can easily be found such a short distance from our home. Here are a few photos from the weekend.

To reach the rim of Knowles Canyon, you first have to hike five miles from the trailhead mostly on an old road through the pinyon and juniper forest. It’s not the most exciting part of the hike, but there are a few views like this along the way.

Long Mesa

Diane starts our descent into Knowles Canyon on the steep trail.

Descent Into Knowles Canyon

We may not have found any rock art on this trip, but we did spot a few arches along the way. I later found out that this one is known as Square Tower View Arch.

Square Tower View Arch

Another view from underneath with the sun peeking out from behind.

Sunburst Arch

We did find this little ruin in the canyon, but I’m guessing it’s historic or newer.

Historic Ruin

Thanks to recent rain earlier in the week, there was a little bit of water to be found in the canyon.

Knowles Canyon Reflection

A view down the canyon from the area we setup camp.

Precambrian Wash

A nice spot to spend the night.

Knowles Canyon Camp

Knowles Canyon towers.


Diane spotted the following two arches as we explored a little further down the canyon.

Knowles Canyon Arch #1

Knowles Canyon Arch #2

There were a few cottonwoods in the canyon that were still displaying their fall colors.

Leftover Color

After a very comfortable (and very quiet) night we woke up to a mostly overcast sky.

Overcast Morning

The sun did peek out from behind the clouds a few times, though.

Morning Light

Hiking back up the wash on our way out of the canyon.


There were some nice clouds over the canyon at times this morning.

Nice Clouds

Knowles Canyon

Light on Square Tower.

Square Tower

Hiking back to the old road.

Heading Back

I liked the large sandstone spire sticking out of the side of this mesa.

Distant Spire

Looking across the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness to the Grand Valley and Book Cliffs.

Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness

The view up Twentyeight Hole Wash as we neared the trailhead again on Sunday afternoon.

Twentyeight Hole Wash

>> Knowles Canyon Photo Gallery


  1. Jeanie Steinbrecher Uhl
    Jeanie Steinbrecher Uhl November 4, 2016

    Hi there! Do you take folks on any hiking trails? If so, are your tours designed for different age groups? I live in Canon City Colorado and am an older woman, however, I still can hike quite well, not as good as when I was in my 30s, but I would love to find some good guides to hike with. Jeanie Steinbrecher Uhl on Facebook

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat November 4, 2016

      Sorry, I am not a guide. I only go hiking for my own enjoyment.

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