Miles: 3.3 miles round trip
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 223 ft.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 39° 2.747’N , 108° 35.212’W
View Clunker_Miramonte in a larger map_______________________________________________________________________________________________
The Clunker/Miramonte trail described here is actually a combination of a few various trails located within the Tabaguache trail system just south of Grand Junction Colorado. As I’ve stated in my other posts, there are a myriad of trails in this area and there really isn’t one single trail you can hike that remains the same name the entire distance. You generally have to hike one particular trail to get to any other given trail but each section has it’s own name. I like to think of it as the “Clunker” section or the “Holy Cross” section of the Tabaguache trail system. You get my point I hope.
There are multiple access points to these trails but this post describes the route taken from the lesser used trail head off of Little Park Road. To get to the trail head from 1st and Grand in Grand Junction you need to travel west on Grand Avenue, also known as highway 340 for just under 1 mile until you come to Monument Road. From here you need to turn left onto Monument Road and travel about .17 miles until you come to D Road on your left. Turn here and follow D road as it turns a corner and becomes Rosevale Road. Once you leave Monument Road travel for about 1.2 miles until you see Little Park Road on your right. Turn here and follow the road for about 0.4 miles. You will see a dirt road on your right between two trees. The entrance to the road has some decent mud holes at the beginning but if you’re careful you should have no problems. I got by them in my little compact car without any issues. The parking lot is then just a short couple hundred yards up the hill. The entrance road is a little rocky and rough but with some careful navigating you should be fine.
The trail begins on the north side of the parking lot and is actually labeled “Holy Bucket”. The trail begins its gradual descent down to the small canyon below here. The last section of this part of the trail drops down pretty fast and is relatively steep. The trail levels out at a swampy wet area with a fence on your right. Behind the fence is private property I believe so be sure to bear to the left and cross the little wooden bridge. Once at the bottom, the trail becomes the “Clunker”.
Follow along the base of the cliff until you come to the first trail marker which is labeled Miramonte Rim and points to the right. Turn here and climb to the top of the hill. At the top of the hill turn right again and follow the Miramonte Rim trail around until you come to another trail marker indicating the Miramonte trail is to your right. Don’t worry, if you miss this turn for some reason there is another turn a bit farther that takes you to the Miramonte trail as well.
From here the trail drops down into another small valley. Once at the bottom be sure to turn left because to the right is private property again. There are trails that go that way but I have never been on them and don’t know where they come out. I’ve never wanted to risk trespassing on some ones land.
Along the bottom of the valley the trail follows a dry wash and small creek bed up the valley. Continue on the Miramonte trail until it climbs out of the valley and comes to yet another intersection, turn left here and go to the next intersection which is only 20-30 yards away. At this marker turn right and follow the trail as it drops back down into the other small valley and heads towards the Holy Cross trail. At the bottom of the hill turn left and follow the trail along the base of the cliff and back to the trail head.
There are so many trails in this area that the opportunities to mix and match seem endless. This is a nice area if you just want to get away for a short time and get some exercise.