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Rattlesnake Canyon, Fruita

4.7
#5 of 7 in Parks in Fruita
Canyon · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Rattlesnake Canyon is a scenic area within the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness which in turn forms the core of the Bureau of Land Management administered McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area in west central Colorado. The canyon contains nine natural arches, the second highest concentration of such arches in the United States, after the much better known Arches National Park.

Access to the canyon is either by a strenuous seven mile hike from the Pollack Bench trailhead or by the Black Ridge access roads. The latter are reached via the adjacent Colorado National Monument. These dirt roads are open seasonally and should only be attempted in a high ground clearance four wheel drive vehicle under dry conditions due to steep, rocky grades.

The arches loop trail descends and then circumnavigates a bench into the canyon. It passes six arches before arriving at Cedar Tree Arch. A slightly tricky ascent on steep sandstone slopes and moqui steps leads to the top of the canyon and a trail spur that completes the circuit.
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Rattlesnake Canyon reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
13 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • If you have a 4x4 to get to trailhead this is real nice trail. Mostly flat trail but it does have one big accent/decent. Road in is rough took 1 hour. Note upper/lower trail is only way in other... 
    If you have a 4x4 to get to trailhead this is real nice trail. Mostly flat trail but it does have one big accent/decent. Road in is rough took 1 hour. Note upper/lower trail is only way in other...  more »
  • This is a great hike, but please bring an accurate map. The trail isn't obvious in a few places. There are a couple of places that will require some scrambling. Nothing is technical, but you should... 
    This is a great hike, but please bring an accurate map. The trail isn't obvious in a few places. There are a couple of places that will require some scrambling. Nothing is technical, but you should...  more »
Google
  • Incredible landscape, just kind of a rough trip. We first tried to hike in from the CO river, (14 miles RT) but ran out of daylight. Then made the drive and yes, the last 2 miles you need high clearance. It’s worth it. We went in November when I is cooler.
  • Great hike! Took the lower trail around. Amazing series of arches! The colors of petrified sand dunes and layered cliff walls were breathtaking! After we hiked to the end of the trail, we hiked thru the arch to reach the upper trail.

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