Of the two main routes accessible from the Bangs Canyon Trailhead (the other being Rough Canyon) the Mica Mine is more casual. Most of the trail is wide and smooth (it used to be a road after all). In the spring when there is water, you may have to hop across the stream occasionally. Some pleasing formations can be seen on both sides of the canyon, and you’ll appreciate the relative quiet when compared to the hikes and canyons in the nearby Colorado National Monument
The Mica Mine trail is accessed from the Bangs Canyon trailhead. To get there, follow Grand Avenue in downtown Grand Junction west until it turns into Broadway and crosses the Colorado River. Just after the river crossing turn left on Monument Road (note: the traffic light says "Power Rd"). Follow Monument road for .2 miles. Turn left on D Road. Follow this road as it courses through a few houses for 1.2 miles until you come to Little Park Road. Turn right on Little Park. Now follow Little Park for 5.5 miles as it winds its way through sandstone canyons and platforms. Turn left at the Bangs Canyon Trailhead.
From this trailhead follow a gully down into Bangs Canyon. At the bottom you will encounter a sign that points you either right to the Mica Mine, or left to Rough Canyon. If the Mica Mine is your destination, then turn (you guessed it) right.
[img:684594:aligncenter:medium:Right to the Mica Mine]
[img:717065:aligncenter:medium:Scenery along the Mica Mine trail]
From the trailhead hike/scamper up the creek along a beautiful canyon floor for .9 miles to a junction in the trail. There is a lot of white quartz on the ground in this area. Go right towards the Mica Mine. The mine quarry itself is about a quarter of a mile farther on. It is a gash in the cliff side with some strange colored and textured rock. It is fun to scramble on the unnatural ledges and textures here. Most people turn around at the mine, but it is worth it to continue a little farther to see a waterfall a little farther up the creek.
The Mica Mine canyon is home to one of the Grand Junction area’s best sport walls. This spot, often called “Bangs Canyon”, is located just a few corners past the mine quarry on the right side of the canyon (heading upstream). This climbing here, however, is hard. The “warm-up” route rates in at 5.11a. For more info on the sport routes off the Mica Mine area, refer to the Mountain Project link in the external links section.
UPDATE: Apparently a 5.10b route has been put up on this wall.
[img:717058:aligncenter:medium:Bangs Canyon sport wall]
Mountain Project (Bangs Canyon)