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Hike Ribbon Trail (Out & Back)

PLEASE ONLY RSVP IF YOU ARE ATTENDING. NO dogs - please. Information for this hike is from gjhikes.com. Photos are provided by Donna King.


Bangs Canyon Brochure

Round Trip Distance: approx. 7 miles; Difficulty: Strenuous; Elevation:[masked] feet


Facilities: Vault toilet at upper trailhead; Trailhead: Lower Ribbon Trail

We will be meeting at the Redlands Albertson on Broadway. (Trailhead directions: From Broadway turn on to Monument Road. Make the first left on to D Rd. Travel approximately 1 mile to where D Rd ends and becomes Little Park Rd. Travel approximately 2.5 miles to the Little Park Road Staging Area (First Flats) on the left.)

Google Map

The Ribbon Trail in the BLM Bangs Canyon Management Area is on slick rock (Kayenta and Navajo sandstone) and Morrison formation (colorful clays, mudstone and sandstone). The upper area of Ribbon Trail is a great place for exploration.

Today’s hike is an out and back. We will begin our hike at the lower trailhead on Little Park Road continuing up to the upper trailhead – then returning the same way back. The trail is only 3.54 miles one-way with a drop in elevation. (Elevation begins at 5470’ but will quickly drop to 5193’ after we descend from Little Park Road into the canyon below).

At about a half-mile from the trailhead, we will come to the junction of the Ribbon Trail and Andy's Loop (the only sign on the trail indicating the Ribbon Trail). We will continue on Ribbon Trail as it winds its way up the wash. Eventually the wash will become challenging to hike and a little scrambling will be necessary.

We will also encounter Ponderosa Pine trees which are thought to have been the abundantly dominant trees in the area for thousands of years. According to gjhikes.com, “…since the last ice age the trees have gradually disappeared except at higher elevations and well protected sites like the ones harboring these specimens.”

There are areas of slick rock - so vast - that it appears that we are looking out over an ocean.

We will see some pretty impressive views and looking south we should see as far as Mt. Sneffels in the San Juan Mountains – over 100 miles away. We will also go through a large cave (headlamp will be helpful) at the half-way point just after the junction of Ribbon Trail and Andy's Loop.

What to bring:

• sturdy hiking boots/shoes

• dress in layers

• light lunch and high energy snacks

• plenty of water

• camera

• sunscreen

• headlamp

• hiking poles

Donna King - (973)[masked]


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  • John A.

    Even though we didn't find the trail still had a great time. P.S. Since we got done so early I had to go back to the bottom of Ribbon Trail. Went thru the cave (awesome), found the trail junction, and since it was still early I wound up finding and hiking the Ribbon trail from the bottom to the top where we started. We went WAY WAY too far left when we lost the trail, when we needed to stay right. The top of the trail is very confusing since everything looks the same. (no real trail to follow up here) Somehow I turned around from the top and went back down to the cave to do the entire Ribbon Trail in 3 hours. (Still not sure how I made it back without getting lost since everything on the top of the trail looks the same) Yes it is a strenuous hike! Lucky I have a secret weapon to combat my sore muscles after this hike. My Hot Tub!

    May 18, 2014

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