***Please note that The Colorado Hiker is no longer being updated. For current information on this trail and other Colorado tips, please visit Nomad Colorado. You can find specific information on this trail by visiting the McDonald Creek Trail page on Nomad Colorado.***
Trailhead: McDonald Creek Trailhead
Activities: Hiking, Camping
Closest City / Town: Fruita, Colorado
Driving Directions: Head out west from Grand Junction on I-70 for about 30 miles to the Rabbit Valley exit (Exit #2). Take a left (south) at the stop sign; cross over the freeway and a cattle guard. Stay on the main road going straight (southwest) for about 2.5 miles. The turn into the canyon is marked by Castle Rocks. When you reach this rock, you’ll turn left (east) onto another two-track road which follows the stream bed for about 0.3 miles to a parking area. NOTE: No motorized vehicles or bikes are permitted beyond this point!!! CAUTION: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended to get to the trailhead!!!
Hiking Distance: 3.0 miles (roundtrip)
Description: The McDonald Creek Trail is a fun and relatively gentle hike in Colorado (McInnis) Canyons National Conservation Area. Because there really is no trail, hikers simply need to follow the winding path of the usually dry creek bed. Tamarisk litter the last half-mile of the hike. Tamarisk are an invasive species that many states in the Southwest struggle to control.
Worth Noting: Pictographs, pictographs, and yes, more pictographs!!! Moreover, there is amazing camping located at Castle Rocks (refer to the driving directions above).
**Please do not take this area for granted. RESPECT the thousands of years of history evidenced on the walls of the canyon. Do not try to climb up to the pictographs – the rock is not stable and will likely collapse if weight is placed on it. The McDonald Creek Trail area is a special place for all future generations to enjoy**