Big Dominquez Canyon

May 22nd, 2017

Our hiking club hikes on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Well, guess what, we had three inches of snow on Wednesday. You could call it spring time in the Rockies. That took care of the mid-week hike and forced us to think about where to go on Saturday where we could avoid snow and mud. We decided on Big Dominguez Canyon for our celebration of the first-ever Public Lands Day in Colorado.

Big Dominquez is part of the Dominquez-Escalante National Conservation area that is part of the Uncompahre Plateau which is an area that holds geological and paleontological treasures covering 600 million years and contains numerous cultural and historic sites reaching back over 10,000 years.

The boring part of the hike requires a jaunt of about a mile along the Gunnison River and then becomes more exciting when you cross the bridge over the river. The next 2.5 miles takes you through rugged canyon landscape craved from sandstone canyon walls. You boarder along Little and Big Dominquez creeks on a trail that sparkles from the mica deposits that are present in the area. The view of green cottonwood trees to the south toward Little Dominquez was stunning.

Our route was up Big Dominquez Canyon to the petroglyph panel which is about 3.5 miles from the parking lot trail head. Here is an image of the site and one of the images carved into the rock. This was our lunch and resting stop before heading back to the trail head.

It was a perfect day for a hike and Public Lands Day.

It brought out the people including a BLM representative who was on the trail to welcome us.

A great day and a great trail.