Hike (a short portion of) Black Ridge Trail and over to Thumbnail Peak
then tonight's hike offers 3 options
(it'll be cooler up there at the Monument elevation)
The hike is an out-n-back and maybe 3-4 miles total. Those who want can add a 2 mile downhill component to it by walking down the Fruita Dugway to car we can leave below. Or others can have a 3rd option (see all options detailed below).
Meet at 6 PM at Rim Rock Drive & CO Hwy 340 outside the west entrance to CO Natl Monument. We can carpool up to cut down on admission fees and so we can leave some cars down for any who may want to descend the Fruita Dugway route rather than return to the Visitor Center.
The route starts on a trail, cuts cross-country, circles part way around the peak and has 30' of scrambling to reach the very top (optional but worth it and very safe).
• Comfortable hiking shoes or light boots
• Clothing for the weather - remember “The Three L’s:” Lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored
• Neck Bandana Over 80% of body heat is generated at the back of the neck. Wrap a wet bandana around your neck and one around each wrist where blood vessels are close to the surface. Keep soaked extras in a plastic sealed "baggie" for a quick change-out.
• Wet Tee-Shirts. When hot, this will revitalize and cool you down. Having two will permit a quick change. It's always good to keep wetting your self down during periods of heat. A spray bottle usually does the trick.
• Trekking poles if you like them
• Sun protection - broad brimmed hat, sun screen, other things that work for you
• Umbrella to hike under
• Water- suggest 1-2 quarts/ person Include Gatorade mix or other electrolyte powder. Mix about 1/2 strength in water to replenish what you sweat out. Refrigerate or even freeze some of your water before the hike or load up on ice cubes in your water containers.
• Snacks- some high energy and some salty snacks
• Ice chest or cooler of ice water at the car for the finish; and maybe some salty nuts or potato chips to replenish salts. Also dry shirt, sandals, other comforts.
Sorry, since this is in the Monument they say FIDO must stay home. It is national parks policy, not ours.
OPTIONS (2 or more persons may opt for any of these):
• Make the hike about a 3-4 mile loop from the CONM Visitor Center out Black Ridge Trail, over to Thumbnail and back around to Visitor Center.
• Those who want can make it a longer hike by trekking down the Fruita Dugway to cars waiting below. It is a nice downhill hike, mostly in the shade and mostly on good trails.
• Those who bring the gear can do a 40-50' rappel off the top. Required gear will be HELMET (bike helmet is OK if you do not yet own a climbing helmet), harness, belay/rappel device, 3 locking carabiners, safety tether (pre-made or 12'+ of webbing or 5-6mm accessory cord that can be tied into a tether), 15' &/or 30' piece of 1" webbing. For the group: 1" webbing & 2-3 rapides (screw-lock rappel rings) & Fiddle stick all for the anchor; a rope to rappel on (50-60' should be more than adequate), either a 2nd rope or an improvised pull cord.
Those driving up Rim Rock Drive may have to pay the entry fee at the West Entrance.
Doug Van Etten [masked]
Why suffer from heat - eat & drink
Hiking with an umbrella - lots of discussion
Safe Hiking in Hot Weather
Spray bottle to counter the heat - lots of discussion
This map includes the basic hike and the Fruita Dugway. Peak is marked in yellow.