Directions: From Fruita and I-70, head south on 340 through two traffic circles and cross the Colorado River. Turn right (west) on Kingsview Road. The road will soon turn to a good dirt road and you'll see an entrance sign for McInnis Canyons NCA. The first trailhead on the left is the Devils Canyon Trailhead and parking area.
Devils Canyon is beautiful. The trail follows a creek flowing seasonaly along the canyon floor and weaves in an out of towering rock formations and canyon walls. The trail is popular with local hikers but no where near as popular as the trails at Colorado National Monument to the east. The Devils Canyon trail system can be a little confusing but the trails are well marked and well maintained.
From the parking area, cross the main gate and head down the wide gravel trail. For this hike you follow the D1 trail to the D3 trail and back again. The D1 trail acts as a feeder trail for the other area trails and you pass multiple trail junctions along the way. At a main junction bear left and after you cross a footbridge, you'll see a marker for D3 off to the right. Veer off the main trail to follow D3 as the trail narrows and enters a narrow rocky canyon with some flowing water. The trail follows the canyon floor, but if you can't see the trail don't fear, just follow the creek bed.
Before long the towering cliffs of Devils Canyon become visible and the trial crosses into the Black Ridge Canyon Wilderness Area. At a trail sign, the trail splits. The right fork is longer than the left and I recommend following the loop in a counterclockwise direction tackling the longer (and more scenic) trail first. The trail will climb out of the creek bed towards the canyon walls. From here the trail undulates over hills and dry river beds as you work your way through the canyon. The views up and down canyon are spectacular and the views up at the rock formations change with each step.
When you see a small cabin to the left, you'll know that you are reaching the terminus of the canyon trail. Just past the cabin are some large boulders that make a nice resting spot with views of the remaining canyon. You can explore the cabin with a register and some historic items before head back down canyon along the eastern trail. This trail is more direct and has some great views of the rock formations along the west wall. The trail dips back into the narrow canyon before returning the D1 trail and the parking area beyond.
There are also many options of adding some side trails (such as the D4 trail) that will all eventually link back to D1. There are many canyon trails in the McInnis Canyons NCA but you'd be hard pressed to find another as stunningly beautiful as Devils Canyon.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Devils Canyon (D3 Trail)
Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness
McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
Date Hiked: May 21, 2016
Distance: 7 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 1,235 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 4,549 to 5,278 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39º 08' 24" N; 108º 45' 25" W
Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)