Work to Begin on New Trails in McInnis Canyons

A natural arch in Rattlesnake Canyon, McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Source: Bureau of Land Management-Colorado.
A natural arch in Rattlesnake Canyon, McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Source: Bureau of Land Management-Colorado.

Trails Will Be in Colorado’s McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area

Released by Chris Joyner, BLM-Colorado

The Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office and its partners will create a new trail within the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area in September 2016.

Approximately 6.5 miles of new single track mountain bike trail along Mack Ridge in the NCA will be constructed with local volunteers.  Less than a mile of unsustainable trail will be removed with the area rehabilitated as part of this project.  The project was originally proposed by the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA).  One of COPMOBA’s objectives is to provide new mountain bike trail riding opportunities.

“It’s awesome to see the progress that has been made through our partnership with BLM, COPMOBA and local businesses to build more trails in the area,” said Mike Bennet, Fruita city manager.  “Working together we are much closer to completing trails that will positively impact our quality of place, economic health and lifestyle in Fruita and the Grand Valley.”

“The legislation that designated this remarkable NCA identified recreation as an important land use in this area,” said Collin Ewing, BLM, NCA manager.  “The BLM worked with the public on a management plan that provides world class mountain bike opportunities in this NCA. The public has indicated an improved trail system is a priority and this project will help meet that commitment.”

Two local Fruita businesses, Hot Tomato Café and Colorado Backcountry Biker contributed funding along with COPMOBA to complete surveys necessary to ensure cultural resources, sensitive plants and wildlife species are protected during trail construction.

McInnis Canyons NCA encompasses more than 123,000 acres of BLM managed public lands on the western slope of Colorado including more than 75,000 acres of the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness.  The area holds the second largest concentration of natural arches in North America with valuable habitat for wildlife such as desert bighorn sheep, collared lizards, mountain lions, many species of raptors, and river otters.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

More information on McInnis Canyons, including trail maps, may be found at

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Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.