Ribbon Trail sits in Bangs Canyon recreation Area just outside the boundaries of Colorado National Monument. If you ever made a page for Bangs Canyon, please let me know so that I can attach this page to it. The trail is often used by mountain bikers as a one way downhill path. It starts at Ribbon Trailhead on Little Park Road on top of Glade Park Plateau and goes down slick-rock slopes into a canyon. You can eventually exit the canyon to reach Little Park Trailhead on Little Park Road or continue downhill on Andy’s Loop Trail. If you stay in the canyon, you will reach the top of a dry waterfall several tens of feet tall at the boundary of Colorado National Monument. I did not see any way of hiking down this waterfall to reach Echo Canyon
Trail at the bottom of the falls.
Ribbon Trailhead and Little Park Road both sit on Little Park Road in Grand Junction Colorado. See map above.
This is a description of the hike from Ribbon Trailhead down to the top of the dry waterfall where the hike dead ends. You will then back track half a mile to reach a trail that allows you to exit the canyon to Little Park Trailhead on Little Park Road. When I did this hike, cairns identified the route.
|Ribbon Trailhead||6640 ft||zero miles
|Jct. with trail to Little Park Road||5220 ft||3.0 miles
|Top of dry waterfall||5100 ft||0.50 miles
|Back to Jct. with trail to Little Park Road||5220 ft||0.50 miles
|Little Park Trailhead ||5540 ft||0.90 miles
|Total One Way||-||4.90 miles
At Ribbon Trailhead, follow the signed Ribbon Trail northeast through a juniper forest on red dirt. You will soon reach a vast slab of slick-rock. The city of Grand Junction will be in view.
Canyons on the edges of the slick-rock.
The slick-rock becomes a narrow peninsula.
You will then have to go down a steep red colored slick-rock slope. I actually had to sit to get down. I am not sure how bikers get down this area. This spot is apparently called “Toilet Bowl”.
Another large slick-rock slope.
The slick-rock funnels into a narrow corridor.
Cairns will then guide you out of the corridor up a slope where canyons can be seen below.
Continuing down the dirt slope to the bottom of a canyon.
After 3 miles, you will reach a signed trail that will take you out of the canyon to Little Park Road. It is worth it to continue down the canyon another half a mile to the top of the dry waterfall.
Continuing down the canyon.
You will then reach the top of a dry waterfall several tens of feet tall. Echo Canyon Trail starts at the bottom of the dry falls. Reaching there, requires technical skills and equipment.
Back track half a mile and go up the trail that gets you out of the canyon. Looking back into the canyon.
The trail crosses Little Park road. I actually hiked a short distance uphill along the road to reach Little Park Trailhead. Great view of Grand Mesa from Little Park Trailhead.