This is not really a climbing destination, but it is definitely a cool place to go if you're in the area. Although this is referred to as a canyon, the normal destination is a ridge above and west of Colorado National Monument with numerous arches.
Approach by a long, arduous trail from the river or a rocky road from above. This road connects from Colorado National Monunemt - you'll have to drive through The Monument to get there. Ask at the visitor center for directions / road conditions.
A passenger car can be driven (carefully!) to a spot about 3 miles from the trailhead. A relatively macho car like my Subaru could probably get all the way there, but I opted to use my mountain bike for the last three miles. From the end of the road, it's one mile to the arches.
This is a place where minimal climbing skills can make you a hero to your non-climbing friends. There are two trails: one that wraps 2.2 miles around the base of the arches and then dead ends and another that goes to the top of First Arch. Linking these two trails is this route - an excellect way to turn your hike into a pleasant round trip.The route goes through the slab under the arch. It is somewhat exposed and sandy but just 4th class. Some good approach shoes will make things easier. I...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Get on the water near Fruita and take out at the base of Rattlesnake Canyon. This is one of the best hikes I have ever done! Obviously river access makes this a less traveled trail. Absolutely amazing!
Anyone who goes to the junk should do this hike! Watch out for thin rock that is not on the arches. I almost died here. My friend was on a thin arch, I said "dude, that arch is thin", he looked at me and said "dude, you are standing on an inch thick rock!" I nearly puked. Pay close attention to the danger signs.