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Lower Seiber Canyon, CO

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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,134 feet
Elevation Gain -258 feet
Accumulated Gain 600 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
22  2021-02-26 PaleoRob
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 225
Photos 5,981
Trips 1,093 map ( 2,433 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:14am - 7:29pm
Route
 
1 Alternative
 
Water


explore the tale of two routes
by PaleoRob

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Warning
Seiber Canyon is very remote with no cell service, no formal trail, and is seldom visited. The descent into the canyon is decently exposed. Remember to leave an itinerary with others before your trip.


Overview
Seiber Canyon cuts through the slickrock Entrada and Wingate sandstones exposed in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area to the west of Glade Park. The trail allows access to the upper portion of Lower Seiber Canyon below a major pourover.

History
The Ute people have inhabited this area for literally thousands of years, and traces of their occupation and their ancestors can be seen across the region, including in Seiber Canyon. In the 1880s, the Utes were forcibly removed by the governor of Colorado and the US Military. Following this, settlers began claiming land in the region. This included Basque sheepherders who settled in the Glade Park area. Some of these new Euro-American settlers visited Seiber Canyon and left their marks on the canyon. Today the canyon is still a range for cattle as part of McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.

Hike
The hike starts just past the Knowles Canyon trail, on the west side of Seiber Canyon. A quick spur leads to an overlook of Seiber Canyon, but the trail itself heads northeast down to the canyon bottom at a junction with a side canyon coming in from the east-southeast. There are multiple cattle trails down, so finding a correct route isn't essential. Once on the canyon bottom, though, you'll want to ascend the slickrock that forms the point between Seiber and the side canyon.

Once on the slickrock, occasional cairns mark the route up into the pinyon-juniper forest. Here several trails branch off, and while cairns may mark them, some of them end up petering out into nothing. The best bet is to follow close to the rim. There are two routes down into the canyon - a harder-to-find route that is less exposed and more gentle, and a steep, north-facing route that is easier to find. Neither is cairned, so sharp eyes and perhaps a review of previous GPS routes and GoogleEarth will help folks find the best way down for the conditions. The north-facing route is especially hazardous during the winter and early spring owing to snow, and crampons may be required.

The canyon bottom is cut by a deep arroyo, and you will need to descend into the arroyo bottom to continue downstream. The easiest way to do this is to hug the canyon's south wall, navigating the sage jungle until passing a point of rock defining a side canyon. At this point, find a cattle track heading towards the northwest - this is a point of canyon bottom extending into the arroyo. There is a trail heading down the east side of the point into the arroyo.

Once on the arroyo bottom, you've covered about a mile, and from there, it is smooth sailing. Most folks venture downcanyon for a mile or so before turning around, but further exploration is possible.

Water Sources
None that are reliable. Bring all you need.

Camping
People do camp at times at the trailhead, and backpacking is possible in the canyon but not terribly popular.

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2021-03-11 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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From the Glade Park store, head north on South 16 1/2 road until you reach B Road on the left (west) side of the road. Turn onto B road, which is paved for the first 3 miles. The road makes several sharp S bends around private property so watch your speed. After the first 3 miles, the road turns to a nice gravel road. It isn't until passing the last ranch turnoff, around the seven-mile point, that the road becomes dirt. Around 10 miles after getting on B Road, you will cross a cattle guard and enter McInnis Canyons NCA. Continue on B Road for another ~2 miles; just past the signed Knowles Canyon trailhead on the right, there will be a pull-off on the left-hand side of the road. Park here, as this is the trailhead.
    page created by PaleoRob on Mar 11 2021 7:40 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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