Devils Canyon to Flume CanyonDate: 9/6/2010
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Miles: Approx. 6 miles Round Trip
Time: 3.5 hours
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 39° 8’22.52″N, 108°45’29.94″W
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I’ve been wanting to hike the Devils Canyon to Flume Canyon trail for quite some time. There are enough trails in this area to keep some one busy for quite some time. I started the hike at the Devils Canyon Trail head. To get there from Grand Junction, travel west on I-70 to the Fruita Exit. Turn left and travel south about 1.5 miles until you come to the Kingsview Estates Subdivision on your right. 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. You can also access the trail from the Pollock Bench trail head farther down the road.
The beginning of the trail follows an old road and is well graveled. The trails on your right are labeled D1–D6 and the trails on your left are all labeled K1-K12. I began by following the D1 trail as it headed straight towards Devils Canyon. As you continue on the trail you will pass various signs indicating different trails. Towards the beginning of the trail there is a small informative sign and a hinged box that sometimes have maps in them. Grab one if there are any. You can also print one out by clicking on the following link. Devils Canyon Trails. It’s a good idea to have a map because as I said there are many trails in the area.
Continue following the D1 trail until you come to the junction with the D6 trail. This is the point where I left the D1 trail and began following the D6 trail. At the D6 junction you can go either right or left, it doesn’t really matter which way you go because this portion does a small loop or continues out the other end of the canyon. I stayed to the left and followed the trail as it meandered along the base of the sandstone cliff. Towards the back of the canyon the trail branches yet again, the right path is the part that loops back out of the canyon and the left continues towards Flume Canyon. Continue following the left tract as it continues climbing out of the canyon. A short distance after this last junction you will come to a wooden fence. From this point on the trail it is pretty much uphill for some distance.
The area sees a lot of equestrian use and it looked like there was quite a bit of horse traffic. The trail is predominantly sandy soil which helped cushion my steps but often made it difficult to trudge through in some places. The area can get a little confusing in places. The D6 trail branches yet again, you can turn left and loop back around to the D1 trail or continue straight ahead. I kept going straight ahead. A short distance past this last junction you will come to another junction. This branch is another section of the D1 trail, once again, I kept going straight ahead. Shortly prior to reaching the high point of the trail, you will come to one more trail junction that connects to the D5 trail. After reaching the high point of the trail it was a welcome downhill the last mile or so until it connects to the F1 trail of Flume Canyon.
I took a short break and turned around and headed back the way I came. Unfortunately the beginning of the trip back was not so welcome because it is a fairly steep climb back up. I decided to try a different route going back. I continued following the D6 trail back past the D5 trail until it connected with the D1 trail. At this point I turned right and Followed the D1 trail as it climbed a little higher and followed a bench area along the base of the mountain.
The D1 trail eventually came to a beautiful overlook of Devils Canyon. From this point I was able to look down into Devils Canyon and see that trail from a bird’s eye view. After the overlook the trail basically turns back into an old road and gently winds down off of the hill and heads back to the trail head.
This is an interesting area with a variety of terrain and endless routes a person could take. The entire area receives quite a bit of use, but the whole time I was on the D6 trail I didn’t see a single person. As I got closer to the trail head I kept seeing more and more people as all the trails came together. Overall it was a nice hike that wasn’t too hard but still offered a little work in spots.