Only problem….I was thinking of the Grand Staircase. In 2009 the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness became part of the now over 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. On top of all of that the scenery is magnificent. After that, we saw fewer and fewer cars but was still more than usual because it was Memorial Day weekend. A couple of web sites describe the hikes and petroglyphs, climbing routes and rafting tours. Looking south from the bridge. The campsites are located above the river with spectacular views of the Canyon walls and the valley. Big Dominguez Campground is nestled among ponderosa pine, cottonwood trees and willows, next to the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Study Area and the Uncompaghre National Forest. At Dominguez Escalante National Conservation Area (DENCA) in Colorado, you can enjoy free camping, magnificent sunrise views, swimming in the creek, canyon hiking, and petroglyphs. Looks like a beautiful place to bring the family. There are four places you can access the area, Bridgeport, Dominguez Campground, Cactus Park trailhead and access from the Gunnison River. The kids will be out of school and everyone is anxious to get out and do somehting exciting. Follow the signs to Dominguez Conservation Area and the Big Dominguez Campground is about 5 miles. We parked at the Big Dominguez campground, and hiked the 15 miles down to Bridgeport over 3 days. Expect Class I and II water. Fri Aug 17 2018. Then there is the Dominguez river running thru the Big & Little Canyons, Further into the canyon I went. ... Exhilarating outdoor adventures including hiking, camping or skiing on the Grand Mesa. One person even said to me,” you have to be careful, if you get caught you get a $1000 ticket.”  Um yeah, there is a reason for the costly fine. The other section is the south side, where we camped, includes the Escalante Canyon and the potholes recreation area. The Black Point Trail isn't hard to follow, The trail is still obvious although rough, The upper reaches of Little Dominguez Canyon, Nice ponderosa and pinyon forest higher in Little Dominguez, The beginning of Little Dominguez started off nicely, Getting into scrub oak as the trail ended, A faint herd path plowing through scrub oak, The path of least resistance sometimes has a lot of resistance, Away from the brush the terrain looked like this, The easy creekside travel ends in willows, The creek was usually a few feet wide so you, Other spots the creek had cliffs along it, A wider section of Little Dominguez Canyon, One of many spires along the canyon walls, Potential swimming hole below a waterfall, The creek exiting a small ravine near my lunch spot, One of the more interesting falls in Little Dominguez. Campsites are first come, first serve. Check out the threads by Brutus on Dominguez Canyon for location details and a contrast of conditions. Fall is probably a great time to visit the area for playing in the water. Hiking Down by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr. Some of these are incorporated into the BLM’s Dominguez Canyon Wilderness, part of the larger Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area. The camp spot in the photos is just past the potholes. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The area is full of petroglyphs but some are more difficult to find and to get to. The road to the Bridgeport trailhead is also a good dirt road but should be avoided when wet. There is some fantastic want to make this New Year’s an occasion to remember? For a dry trip in the spring, usually the closest snowless backpacking trips involve travel to the deserts of Utah, New Mexico, or Arizona. We found the Potholes Recreation Area to be the location for camping and playing. In an age of "...increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization,..." I would not attempt this hike, and I'm glad I got to see it from your pictures! Traditionally, Thanksgiving is spent in a big dining room with all of your loved ones gathered around eating a big feast. In this post, you will see pictures of our adventures in RV camping in the area. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife own both the Walker Cabin and Captain Smith Cabin and both are open to explore inside. River recreational activities, rock climbing, and hiking are focused in this area. The Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is the premier dry camping location within Dominguez-Escalante NCA. We followed the directions from the Ranger to the turn off the main dirt road and then a second right turn. Most stunning is Big Dominguez Canyon, its aesthetics rival that of the canyons found in nearby Utah. Your email address will not be published. Red rock canyons cut their way down from the plateau to the Gunnison River. Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Be very careful about entering the water. Everything... Shauna, thanks for a great job in calling the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area to our attention, and making it come to life. While the historic significance of the area and incredible scenery are both a must see, our favorite aspect of the Big Dominguez Canyon is that of this beautiful swimming hole! Ryan and I went on a 3 night camping trip in Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area. He used one side of a tall rock as one wall and the other three walls of brick. Die Abzweigung von Highway. Expect Class I and II water. There are 3 turn-offs from highway 50 depending on where you are going. We had no trouble getting up and down it in our 2-wheel drive pickup. It is part of the larger Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, which comprises over 200,000 acres of federally owned and protected lands. The only travel that is allowed is either hiking or horseback. Meet our family of 8 and find out more about where and how we travel. Probably most notably written about as a climbing area on websites and in this book. Dominguez Canyon: camping & hiking - See 42 traveler reviews, 35 candid photos, and great deals for Grand Junction, CO, at Tripadvisor. Apparently someone didn’t like the steep and loose trail out of the canyon… Fool Travel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr. When it is dry I've driven my Honda Civic to the upper trailhead without problems. No camping is allowed one mile from the confluence of the Big and Little Dominguez on either trail. Campsites are managed by the BLM and camping is free. Visit for water reports, hiking trails and camp conditions and view our online map of the entire Los Padres National Forest Big Dominguez Canyon & Triangle Mesa by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr. We had our kids, ages 8 and 12 with us. The Escalante, Cottonwood, Little Dominguez and Big Dominguez Creeks cascade through sandstone canyon walls that drain the eastern Uncompahgre Plateau. The Escalante Canyon in Colorado is not very well documented and I would like to change that. We watched the canyon walls as the light changed from morning to day and night again. Although I had driven by the turnoff more than a hundred times, I never knew what was down that road. The campsites are free but very primitive and are marked with a brown carsonite with a tent. Our campsite was situated on a cliff above the creek and with spectacular canyon views. We did try to find the Ute petroglyphs indicated on the sign. The petroglyphs and ancient structures are more well preserved in the Big Dominguez canyon hike. Or, do you desire a unique winter experience like no other? Once we left Big Dominguez Canyon, the peaceful weekend of solitude was long over; there were seemingly hundreds of rafters camped along the Gunnison River and in true raft-trip style, each group looked like they had brought everything but the kitchen sink (I’m sure some of them had camp sinks, come to think of it). The Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area is a 209,610-acre (848.3 km2) National Conservation Area located in western Colorado southeast of Grand Junction and northwest of Montrose. Camping by the river is limited to boaters from May 1st through Labor Day. Best I've read on the web. Sometimes I do a lot of research before visiting an area and sometimes I don’t. Go east on CR 6.5o, Escalante Canyon Road. The canyons, washes and arroyos lead to place that seem both mysterious and beautiful. backpacking. Big Dominguez Canyon is located in the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area near Grand Junction, Colorado. Your email address will not be published. The BLM Ranger was around checking on things but otherwise, the area is unattended. He advised us to head down the road a little to find a large flat space for our RV. While I do describe my destinations and routes, it is your responsibility to properly research any destination and prepare and equip yourself for any conditions that may exist. Red-rock canyons and bluffs hold geological and paleontological resources spanning 600 million years, as well as many cultural and historic sites from the past 10,000 years. Return to Big Dominguez Canyon: Hiking & Camping: 0: Mar 6, 2012: Shuttle for Dominguez Wilderness? Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area Camping: Campendium has 15 reviews of 3 Campgrounds in Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area. The camping is free no matter which campground you choose. The Big and Little Dominguez Canyons form one possible loop route from the Gunnison River up to the crest and back again.