Devils Canyon; canyoneering/climbing

Devils Canyon; canyoneering/climbing

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.06500°N / 108.748°W
Additional Information Route Type: Canyoneering/climbing
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Varies.
Sign the Climber's Log

Getting There

From Grand Junction, take I-70 west to the Fruita exit, turn left and cross back over I-70 and go 1.5 miles to the Kings View Estates subdivision. Turn right, in to the subdivision and stay on the main road. It's approximately .5 miles to the Devils Canyon trail turnoff, on your left - look for the yellow gate.

(Note: This was copied from the Devils Canyon page).

Route Description

This is a nice variation on the Devils Canyon Trail for those who want a little more adventure. Parts of the following route description were copied from the Devils Canyon Trail description, and this is presented as an interesting alternative route.

The upper walls of the canyon are made of sheer Wingate sandstone walls and there are many pinnacles in the canyon making it a scenic area. The lower end of the canyon cuts through granite, which makes this part of the Colorado Plateau unique (having Wingate walls on top of granite). The narrows of the canyon are in the granite.

The trail begins outside the mouth of the canyon where there is a maze of dirt road-type trails. There is a map near the trailhead, but you can also see the mouth of the canyon so choose the roads that take the most direct route towards the canyon mouth. Once you reach Devils Canyon the trail turns into single track. Once inside the canyon, locate the trail that climbs up on either side of the granite rim of the canyon. After climbing up to the bench on either side of the granite narrows via the trail, follow trail aloong the bench at the base of the Wingate sandstone cliffs until you can easily scramble into the bottom of the canyon. We followed the granite narrows down canyon. Once in the canyon bottom, head down the canyon. There are a few potholes to pass and some drops. The highest drop is only 15 feet, and we climbed up to a chockstone on the left (looking down canyon) and about 15 feet above the fall to set up a hand line. We didn't set up a rappel here, but others might prefer to. The canyon is easy for a technical canyon, but technically speaking, the main attraction is the high quality granite for climbing. The granite is black and pink and is good and solid for rockclimbing. High quality granite is certainly a rare site on the Colorado Plateau. You can do several good rock climbs in this section of canyon before heading down canyon and exiting the granite narrows. There are many climbs to choose from, and you will likely have them all to yourself, even on a holiday weekend. You can spend all day here. It also woudn't be too difficult to reverse the canyon bottom route if you have some climbing skills.

Devils Canyon is not an extreme technical canyoneering trip, but it is highly scenic and the red sandstone walls, pinnacles, and granite narrows make it a very scenic canyon. It's also very easy to get to; only a couple miles from I-70.

Devils Canyon climbing area....Devils Canyon climbing area. Surprisingly good granite in the desert.

Essential Gear

For the canyoneering descent, bring one rope at least 50 feet long and some slings. If you want to do any climbs in the granite, bring a 165 foot climbing rope, and all the usual rock climbing gear.

Note: This area is very pristine and is a real "secret gem". There are no bolts, slings, or any other artificial aids in the canyon. All climbing routes can be done by top roping and bolts are not required. Bolts are not necessary for the canyoneering descent route. If you must leave something; leave a small sling (it's better to use a retrievable sling), but please don't place bolts this pristine natural area.



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