Echo Canyon & Old Gordon Trails

Page Type
Route
Location:
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Half a day
Difficulty:
Hike

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Echo Canyon & Old Gordon Trails
Created On: May 14, 2016
Last Edited On: Oct 27, 2017

Overview

Echo Canyon Trail
Echo Canyon is a short and narrow canyon that sits at the eastern end of Colorado National Monument. A 1.4 mile long trail starts at Devils Kitchen Trailhead and takes you into the canyon to dead end at the base of a dry waterfall several tens of feet tall.


Old Gordon Trail
This trail also starts at Devils Kitchen Trailhead. It takes you 1600 vertical feet up a dirt, slick-rock and juniper covered slope to reach the top of Glade Park Mesa. The trail officially ends at a barbed wire fence that marks the boundary of Colorado National Monument. This fence is not far from Little Park Road that runs on top of the mesa. Continuing straight beyond the fence may get you onto private property. I will describe below a way to reach Ribbon Trailhead on Little Park Road without running into private property signs.








Getting There

Devils Kitchen Trailhead can be found on your left shortly after the eastern entrance of Colorado National Monument.

Echo Canyon

Place
Elevation
Distance
Devils Kitchen Trailhead
5030 ft
zero miles
Jct with Old Gordon Trail
5120 ft
0.55 miles
Dry Waterfall
5025 ft
0.85 miles
Total One Way
-
1.40 miles






At Devils Kitchen Trailhead, head south and follow the trail, which at that point is common to No Thoroughfare Canyon, Old Gordon and Echo Canyon Trails. After 0.1 mile, No Thoroughfare Canyon Trail branches to the right. Continue on the left branch going up to a signed junction with Old Gordon Trail.

Near Devils Kitchen trailhead

Near Devils Kitchen Trailhead


Echo Canyon Trail is on the left. It goes downhill until Echo Canyon comes to view.

View of Echo CanyonView of Echo Canyon


The trail then gets into the bottom of the canyon and follows it uphill.

Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon


You will reach the end of the trail at this dry waterfall. My map mistakenly showed a junction with Ribbon Trail on top of the dry waterfall. I saw no way of hiking to the top of the waterfall.

Dry WaterfallDry Fall

Old Gordon Trail

Place
Elevation
Distance
Devils Kitchen Trailhead
5030 ft
zero miles
Jct with Echo Canyon Trail
5120 ft
0.55 miles
Park Boundary Fence
6630 ft
2.70 miles
Ribbon Trailhead
6640 ft
0.60 miles
Total One Way
-
3.85 miles





Follow the instructions above to the junction of Echo Canyon & Old Gordon Trails. Turn right on Old Gordon Trail and follow it uphill through a juniper forest and areas of slick-rock. You will get good views of the city of Grand Junction and the mountains behind it (Book Cliffs).

Book Cliffs
On Old Gordon Trail
Book Cliffs
On Old Gordon Trail
Grand Mesa
On Old Gordon Trail
On Old Gordon Trail
Book Cliffs and the city of Grand Junction
On Old Gordon Trail
City of Grand Junction


The trail comes to a sudden end at the barbed wire that marks the boundary of Colorado National Monument. When I was in the area, the wire was low and I was able to cross it.

Crossing barbed wirePark boundary


Beyond the barbed wire, boot prints may seem to go in every direction. To reach Ribbon Canyon Trailhead (On Little Park Road in Bangs Canyon Recreation Area), turn left and go parallel to the wire until you reach the edge of a slick-rock canyon. Turn right and go around the southern end of the canyon until you reach Ribbon Trail. Turn right and follow the trail a short distance to reach Ribbon Trailhead (see map above).

Edge of slickrock canyonEdge of canyon


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