Mica Mine (Bangs Canyon)Date: 7/25/2009
Miles: Appox. 2.5 Miles Round Trip
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 38°59’19.25″N, 108°37’2.95″W
To access the trailhead from Grand Junction, travel west on Grand Ave from 1st street and turn left onto Monument Road. Travel about 1/4 mile and take another left onto D road which turns into Rosevale Road. About a mile take a right onto Little Park Road and continue travelling for another 5 miles or so. Shortly after a fairly tight turn to the right there is a road to the left with a sign indicating “Bangs Canyon Staging Area”. Follow this road the short distance to the parking area. The trailhead is straight to the west of the parking area.
This is a really pretty hike. The trail is actually an old two track road that has been weathered down over the years. Towards the end of the trail there is an old Mica mine. There are little pieces of mica and quartz lying all over the ground. A little farther past the mica mine is a pretty seasonal water fall. The trail actually continues past the waterfall and all the way up to the head of Ladder Canyon where you can search for Jacobs Ladder. I took this latest trip with a class of sixth graders on a school field trip so due to all the kids we turned around at the water fall and headed back. I would like to explore this place a little more.
The beginning of the trail takes you down into a small canyon where you follow a little stream. Early spring and fall are the best times to hike this trail. The temperatures in the summer months can reach the high 90’s or above. I just went in the middle of May and it was pleasant, the bugs were not out yet, the temperature was decent and the stream had running water in it. The last time I went on this trail it was late summer and the gnats were out thick and the stream was dried up.
The trail itself is easy; there are a couple places that require you to step carefully. Be sure to wear water proof shoes if you’re going in the early spring, there are many stream crossings you have to make but most of them are shallow enough or have stepping stones that you don’t get too wet. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather because this trail would be a bad place to encounter a flash flood as there are very few places to go to get to high ground.
I rated this one a four star because it is a very pretty area and an easy hike. There is lots of shade and good scenery. The only thing it is missing is more wildlife and or archeologic sites.