The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness now contains a total of 75,439 acres and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Colorado contains approximately 70,319 acres. Utah contains approximately 5,120 acres.
Public land becomes wilderness through legislation passed by the United States Congress in the form of public laws. For the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, this process began in 2000 when 75,550 acres were designated by Public Law 106-353.
The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness is part of the 106 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of wild lands contributes significantly to the ecological, economic, and social health of our country. Wilderness provides clean air and water, a shelter for endangered species, sacred places for indigenous peoples, a living laboratory for research, and a classroom for exploring personal values while experiencing risk, reward, and self-reliance. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude.
Regulations presently in effect include group size limits of 25 people travelling in the canyons south of the river and 12 people accessing the Rattlesnake Arches area. The Rattlesnake Arches vicinity is day-use only. At the present time, there are no fees for the wilderness or the rest of the Colorado Canyons NCA.
Leave No Trace principles:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Map + Directions
Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness is located approximately 15 miles west of Grand Junction, Colorado. It is bordered by the Colorado National Monument to the east and the Colorado/Utah boundary to the west, with a small portion actually spilling into Utah. The Wilderness is included within the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area (CCNCA), which was legislatively designated in October of 2000.
Directions: Fruita, Colorado is the gateway community to the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness and the Colorado Canyons NCA, which includes the Wilderness. The area is 15 miles from Grand Junction, Colorado via Interstate 70 and can be accessed on the east from State Highway 340. The north boundary of the Wilderness is the Colorado River. Access from the south would be through the community of Glade Park. Maps and precise directions are available at the BLM office in Grand Junction.