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Echo Canyon, CO

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > Northwest
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,051 feet
Elevation Gain -105 feet
Accumulated Gain 523 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.12
Interest Historic, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
34  2016-01-13 PaleoRob
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 137
Routes 111
Photos 5,253
Trips 942 map ( 2,097 miles )
Age 38 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:57am - 6:22pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Redrock Sampler
by PaleoRob

Overview: A quick hike into a riparian canyon bottom, Echo Canyon offers spring wildflowers and limited fall colors. The stream in the canyon flows at least seasonally.

Warning: The trail can be icy during the winter. In the summer, canyon walls can reflect the day's heat, making the canyon an oven. The seasonal stream is not considered to be safe for drinking, according to Colorado National Monument guidelines.

History: The Old Gordon trail, which this trail follows for the first half mile, is part of a historic toll road erected by Gordon to help move traffic from the Grand Valley to the Uncompahgre Plateau. More information on this toll road can be found on the Old Gordon Trail write-up.

Hike: The hike starts out from the Devil's Kitchen trailhead and follows the Old Gordon Trail, a historic toll road into the monument, for about half of its length. The trail descends from the parking area and soon comes to a fork. This is about a tenth of a mile into the hike. There is a sign at the fork for Echo Canyon/Old Gordon Trail. Follow the arrows to the left.

The trail continues to descend towards the wash at the mouth of No Thoroughfare Canyon. The big, unnamed point of Morrison, Peak 5513, is prominent in front of you. Two posts, one on either side of the wash, mark the trail where it crosses the watercourse. On the far side there's a sign indicating that you are on the correct path for the Echo Canyon/Old Gordon trail. From this point the trail begins to rise and curve to the south.

After ascending 189 feet in a quarter mile, you come to where the Old Gordon trail diverges. The Echo Canyon trail heads back downhill at this point. It is obvious why you have to get up to get down on the Echo Canyon trail; the confluence of Echo Canyon's creek and No Thoroughfare lies on private land. The trail skirts the property boundary and several houses can be seen from this section of the trail. You lose all the elevation you just gained in the quarter mile descent that brings you to the bottom of Echo Canyon.

From this point the hike becomes a classic Colorado Plateau canyon hike. You move along through the wash bottom, occasionally climbing streamside terraces to get better views of the soaring red walls. There are also some short slots in the stream course that you skirt on slickrock ledges. Nothing technical or challenging, but classic desert southwest hiking all the same.

Eventually you will come to a huge double-layer alcove in the Entrada sandstone on your right hand (west) side. This short drainage and the cliff marks the usual end-point of the hike. While it is possible to continue in the streambed, the monument boundary is around the next bend in the canyon and the trail can be a bit muddy from this point on out. Once you've seen all you care to see, retrace your steps back to the parking lot. Depending on upstream permissions, it may be possible to use this trail as a start to an up-canyon backpacking trip.

Water Sources: A seasonal creek runs through Echo Canyon but the NPS cautions against using any water sources in the monument. Bring your own.

Camping: Backcountry camping is possible in the monument. With the hike being so short, however, it probably doesn't get camped in at all.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2016-01-13 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Echo Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After doing Devil's Kitchen and Otto Trail on Sunday I decided to head back to the Devil's Kitchen trailhead and hike the Echo Canyon Trail. The trail was snow-covered the entire way, with some icy spots. I slipped (but did not fall!) 1x in each direction on a downhill, but I was also distracted. If I had been paying attention a bit more to my footing it would not have been an issue. The canyon is quite beautiful and I came at the right time - near sunset - to catch the light on the eastern cliff walls. I walked just past the usual turn around point and saw that previous hikers has stumbled into the stream itself, cracking open the icy crust under the snow that hid it. I decided I didn't want to get wet. I headed back. Leaving the canyon my camera battery died. I don't think I had charged it enough, since the camera is new to me and I am still figuring it out. The temperature in the canyon was probably low 30s to high 20s but it didn't feel bad at all, especially when moving.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From downtown Grand Junction, take Grand Avenue across the Colorado River to Monument Road. Turn left at Monument Road and follow the road to the entrance stations. After entering the monument, the trailhead parking is the first signed parking area on the left. Look for the brown wooden sign on the right indicating Devil's Kitchen parking and trail.
    page created by PaleoRob on Jan 13 2016 11:06 pm
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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