Grand Junction Hikes: Bangs Canyon Recreation Area Blew My Mind
How did I miss this? Does everyone else know about it? If you're looking for a series of great hikes, not to mention excellent 4-wheeling, mountain biking and motorcycle terrain, pay a visit to the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area.
Let's get the embarrassing part out of the way. I've been hiking in this vicinity for close to 40 years. I grew up in a house located only a few thousand feet away from this trail head, and yet, somehow, completely missed the area hosting trails such as Butterknife, Twist N' Shout, and Quad Rocker.
The Bangs Canyon Recreation area boasts excellent parking, restroom facilities, and a variety of trails and roads. You'll find the trailhead just east of Little Park Road shortly before you come to the turnoff for the Mica Mine. A fairly short gravel road will take you from Little Park all the way to the parking area. The parking lot is set up well in order to accommodate those hauling trailers.
This last weekend, I hiked the area twice. The first time out, the journey started out on 3rd Flatts Road with a turn at Quad Rocker. The next day, adventures began at the trail marked Twist N' Shout. All of the trails were absolutely fantastic.
Twist N' Shout is listed as being 1.6 miles in length, with a high elevation of 5,894 feet, and a low elevation of 5,537 feet. By my estimates, this trail can be hiked by just about anyone. The trail is rated the second best in the Bangs Canyon Recreational Area, and the 686th best trail in Colorado.
Who gets to use these trails? According to the sign posts, trails such as Quad Rocker are open to:
- mountain bikes
- quad runners
For those driving larger off-road vehicles, there are several roads, some featuring excellent technical areas, you might enjoy.
The next time you're heading up Little Park Road, keep an eye out for a turnoff on the east side. Follow the gravel road to the parking area, and then set out on any one of a number of adventures.