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Mount Garfield Trail

 9 votes

Length

3.6 Miles 5.7 Kilometers


Elevation

1,906' 581 m

Ascent

-1,904' -580 m

Descent

20%

Avg Grade (11°)

63%

Max Grade (32°)

6,723' 2,049 m

High

4,852' 1,479 m

Low

Conditions


All Clear 2 days ago
A little water in the underpass but my friends passenger car was fine. History

Getting forecast...

The steepest in the valley, 2K vert in 2 miles with amazing geology & possible wild horses.

Andrew Walters

Overview

This is one steep pile of mud and rock! As long as it is dry and not blistering hot it is highly enjoyable. The view from the top is on par with flying into Grand Junction. Coming down you can let gravity do all the work.
Features: Views — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs

Description

From the parking area head out through the wooden fence and then go left towards the most obvious ridge. Ascend the ridiculously steep ridge staying directly on it and navigating occasional boulders. Near the top the ridge gives way to a steep boulder field with many competing lines to choose from. As the grade mellows out there is an unmarked junction. Follow the most obvious path as it heads left towards the first flat area. This clearing should be full of stud piles and is your best chance at seeing some of the wild horses in the area.

The flat doesn't last long and again you'll head right up and into a boulder field. Exit the boulder field to the left as the trail makes a gradual, sweeping ascent underneath the looming cliffs above. The trail will then climb up through a break in the cliff and continue to climb steeply along the cliffs edge. Once you are past a final scrambling section with lots of loose gravel atop bedrock the trail levels out and you can make better time as you approach the summit. There used to be a flagpole marking the summit, but a cairn and benchmark will let you know when you have reached it.

Take in the views, let your legs rest for a second and then get ready to fly back down. Keep your descent under control, especially on the lower part of the ridge near the parking area. Hiking in a serpentine fashion down the ridge will help you stay in control.

Flora & Fauna

This trail is part of the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area and wild horse sightings are possible. Even if you miss the horses, their huge piles of their poop will be evident (stud piles).

History & Background

There was once an old coal mine at the top of the first steep climb and much of the old equipment and cables can still be seen in the area.

Contacts

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Apr 1, 2018
Cindy Lyons Peterson
Jan 27, 2018
Casey Peed
Ascended via Gearhart and descended via standard route 4.6mi
Jan 13, 2018
Kevin McCall
Jan 4, 2018
Andy Libberton
Dec 13, 2017
Steven Willer
Feb 17, 2017
R. Jeffrey Davis
Nice climb great views of the city 3.6mi
Sep 25, 2016
Steven Knight
Feb 25, 2016
Nicole King
Took the trail slowly with children and dogs, first part was much more strenuous then anticipated

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 9 votes

#2

in Palisade

#1869

Overall
  4.1 from 9 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
56%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
11%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#2

in Palisade

#262

in Colorado

#1,869

Overall
146 Views Last Month
1,123 Since Jul 14, 2015
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
0%
33%
56%
11%
Checked off my bucket list 08-24-17 while visiting Grand Jct. where my wife grew up. Got a so-so early start & luckily for me was overcast almost complete hike! Had hiking boots with me but opted to wear fairly worn low tops which were OK going up but kept sliding out from under me on the way down, causing ‘butt bruises’. Made the mistake of taking SECOND trail up from the approach, a BIG MISTAKE! At one point I was on all fours (but not knees) to make headway in a very exposed narrow very steep incline with crusty top that when broken through was very loose underneath. Saw two wild horses & numerous dung piles. The trail is very hard to follow in some places but just keep going up & finally reach the top mesa. The view over the valley from the flagpole is great! My Fit Bit recorded 170 ‘floors’. Quads fatigued near end of descent & required rest breaks. Dec 13, 2017
chris V  
In the morning would be best, lots of cardio steep hills and rocky trail, good hiking shoes are a must. Slippery areas on the dirt so be careful. Mar 9, 2018

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