PLEASE ONLY RSVP IF YOU ARE ATTENDING. Although dogs are permitted in this area, please do not bring your dog on this hike. There are some areas where there is some exposure and the trail is narrow. Information for this hike is from gjhikes.com, which rates this hike as moderate to strenuous due to the distance and elevation climb at the last leg of the hike. (All photos were taken by Donna King.) The round trip distance is approx. 8.5 miles with an elevation gain of 900’ (4906’ – 5890’). This area is used for hiking, cycling, equestrian, dogs and dirt bikes.
Third Flats Shared Trails Map
The Third Flats Area doesn't have an official parking area. We will meet in the Redlands Albertson’s parking lot then carpool to the parking area which is a very short walk to the Twist-n-Shout Trail. This area in Third Flats is quiet and offers outstanding views of Grand Junction and Gunnison River. The Butterknife trail is located in the Third Flats section of the BLM Bangs Canyon Management Area.
This hike will begin with a short walk to where it will intersect with the Butterknife Trail at around the 2.4 mile mark. At this junction of Twist-N-Shout and Butterknife, we will continue our hike on Butterknife, for approx. 3 more miles. Hiking the Butterknife Trail begins by descending around the upper hills, continually losing altitude, as we head toward the Gunnison River.
At this point we will have hiked 5.3 miles and will break for lunch at a spot which offers great vistas of the Grand Valley and Beyond. (On the hill across the river is the Spyglass Ridge subdivision on Orchard Mesa and down around the bend is the roller dam for the Redlands Canal.)
After breaking for lunch we will continue for an additional half-a-mile where the rail wraps around the back of one of the canyons. There is only a minor hill to climb (at this point we will go off the trail and bushwack our way to get up to the road) until we get to the Third Flats Road. Third Flats Road is pretty much up-hill all the way back to the parking area. It is approx. another 3 miles to return to the parking area.
What to bring: sturdy hiking boots/shoes, dress in layers, light lunch/high energy snack, plenty of water, camera, sunscreen
Donna King - (973)[masked]