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Return to the High Trail & Opal Hill

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness | Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Well, just like last year it appears that I’ve been slacking on my After Work Adventures again this spring, but part of the reason for that is the wet weather we had been having around here for a while. To remedy this situation I decided to head out after work this afternoon for a repeat hike of the High Trail in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness since it’s one I’ve been wanting to get back to for a while now. During the day I almost cancelled the hike since the weather hadn’t been cooperating as it had been raining and snowing off and on, but as I was leaving work I checked the forecast one last time and thought it looked like it might finally be clearing up, so I decided to go for it. This turned out to be a good decision since the weather held out and it was a great evening for a local hike!


Return to the High Trail

As I started the steep climb up to the High Trail I had a great view back over Flume Creek Canyon.

Flume Creek Canyon Overlook

Here’s looking the other direction over Devils Canyon and Fruita.

Devils Canyon View

A view past the Sandstone Knob and over Grand Junction to the Grand Mesa.

Sandstone Knob & Grand Mesa

Soon I reached the beginning of the ledge section of the High Trail.

Going Up the High Trail

Can you spot the Keyhole Window below?

Keyhole Window

Walking along the High Trail.

White Stripe

I hiked to an overlook just past the ledge section of the High Trail and then turned around to head back down.

The High Trail

Narrow Trail

Narrow Trail

I looks like there was a recent rockfall that covered part of the trail in rubble.

Fresh Rockfall

A view from the rim as I left the narrow ledge and made my way back down into the canyon.

View from the Rim

I could see some snow squalls across the Grand Valley.

Snow Squall Across the Valley

Flume Creek Canyon View

The clouds and late afternoon light were nice as I followed the benches of Flume Creek Canyon back to the trailhead.

Flume Creek Clouds

Flume Creek Canyon

Leaving the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness

Leaving the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness


Opal Hill

After returning to the trailhead I started to drive home, but quickly stopped at the Opal Hill Trailhead so I could hike to the summit. Although I have driven by Opal Hill countless times over the years, I’ve never taken the time to stop hand hike it, and since I finished my hike of the High Trail quicker than expected I figured it was time to finally do that.

Here’s a view to the Book Cliffs across the valley from the Opal Hill Trail as I made my way toward the top.

Opal Hill View

Opal Hill

Opal Hill

There was a great view of the King and Queen from the top, although I’ve always called the highpoint on the left Kodels Point.

King & Queen

Opal Hill Summit

Opal Hill Summit

>> Return to the High Trail Photo Gallery


  1. Michelle Dickson
    Michelle Dickson April 25, 2023

    Always enjoy your trip reports, thank you!

  2. Eric A Gardiner
    Eric A Gardiner April 29, 2023

    Hi Randy, Any chance you can share more info about finding the High Trail? Yesterday(4/28/23)I hiked through Flume Canyon and it seemed all the trails headed towards Pollack Canyon. Should I have headed towards Devils Canyon? I would really like to find the ledge section of the High Trail. Thanks for your help!

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