Devils Canyon D5 Route
The Devils Canyon trail is located within the McInnis Canyons/Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness area south of Fruita Colorado. To access the trail head from Grand Junction, travel west on I-70 to the Fruita exit. Turn left and travel about 1.5 miles to Kingsview Estate, there is also a sign indicating Horsethief State Wildlife Area. Turn right and drive through the small subdivision and bear left when the road turns to gravel. The trail head is located on your left after about a 1/4 mile after the pavement ends. There is a fairly large parking area just off of the road.
The trail begins by passing through the large gate just south of the parking area and makes its way over the small ridge as it follows along an old road. Just under half a mile you will come to the first trail marker. I turned right and followed the trail up the little hill as it made its way back towards Fruita. You can download a version of the Devils Canyon Trail System here.
A short distance later you will come to the next trail marker. Taking a left here will send you on the D4 route and will follow along the base of the cliff, continuing straight will keep you on the D5 route. From this point the wide trail changes into a narrow single track as it turns and begins climbing to the top of the cliff.
The climb to the top of the cliff is the most strenuous part of the whole hike. Once at the top its pretty easy going as the trail traverses along the edge of the cliff and follows the canyon rim for the next few miles.
At about the two mile point you will come to an unmarked “y” in the trail. Taking the left option will continue along the rim of the canyon and around the point, it eventually connects back to the main trail. this option will add about a half mile to your trip. I chose to continue straight and follow the trail up and over the ridge. this option looked like the most travelled and at the time I wasn’t sure where the trail on the left led to.
Once over the ridge the trail follows along the last small canyon and begins another climb. this section was actually a little strenuous as well mostly due to the fact that not only was I gaining elevation, I was doing it in deep sand.
The trail eventually makes it to the top once again, if you look over the edge you will see the trail below you. After reaching the top the trail drops down once more and continues heading in the Pollock and Flume Canyon direction. this section of the trail is quite steep as you go down so be careful of your footing.
Once at the bottom, you will come to a trail marker, right leads you to Flume Canyon and left continues on the D5 route. At this point there is one last slight climb then it’s all downhill from there. Prior to reaching the valley floor you will come to one more marker. taking a right will take you to the top of the hill and circle around to the mouth of Devils Canyon. There are some great views of the canyon from here. the trail then drops down and follows the old road cut that you can see from the valley floor. I didn’t take this route this time, I remained on the D5 route as it dropped down, passed thorugh an old wooden fence and connected back to the network of trails below.
this was a nice trail and one that doesn’t look like gets nearly as much traffic as the more popular Devils Canyon trail and the rest of the trails along the valley floor. It offers a good workout with some nice views of the surrounding area and options to extend your hike.