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Flume Canyon and Pollock Bench
Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, Colorado
April 30, 2024

Distance: 11.4 km (7.1 mi)
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 281 m (922 ft)

Intrigued with both Flume Canyon and Pollock Bench, I realized I could combine them to create a loop with contrasting scenery. We could appreciate the beauty of the canyon and take in far-reaching views on the top of Pollock. The trailhead is 30 minutes from Grand Junction.

A brief trail leads to the beginning of the loop. We turned left for Flume Canyon and took the winding path down to the canyon. We followed the trail through the changing landscape. Around us, the rocky canyon walls repeatedly rose and fell, widened and narrowed, while the canyon floor switched between loose rocks and soft sand and smooth rock slabs.

When we missed the turn that climbed out of the canyon, we continued on the bottom trail. We eventually hit a dead end. We came to an awesome rock chamber with towering walls. Despite having to backtrack 400 m to get back on track, it was worth seeing.

Back on the main trail, we climbed out of the canyon and continued on the main trail. Here the canyon became less rugged, and travel became easier. We continued until the path exited the canyon and ascended the right side. We hiked up the slope, crossed a small canyon and threaded through ridges. After passing a balancing rock, Pollock Bench appeared ahead. We followed the trail to the summit.

From the top, we viewed a colourful canyon on our left. Behind us, a ridge rose to block the view south, while trees obstructed the scene ahead. After taking a break, we continued down the ridge. Eventually, the trees disappeared. On the final stretch back to our car, we mostly had wide-open views. The descent down Pollock Bench wasn't particularly interesting, so I don’t recommend doing it by itself. Instead, combine Pollock with Flume as we did and make it a truly enjoyable trip.

KML and GPX Tracks

At the fork, we turned left for Flume Canyon

Starting down the trail to the canyon

The trail descends to the canyon

Hedgehog cactus

In the canyon

The canyon quickly became interesting

The canyon offers a variety of scenery

Side-blotched lizard

Continuing up the canyon

Kingcup cactus

Passing through a slot canyon (mouse over to look back)

Lizard on the canyon wall

We passed the trail that climbs out of the canyon and followed the bottom trail 400 m to a dead end

The canyon ends in spectacular cliffs

Back on the trail, climbing out of the canyon

The trail follows the canyon rim (mouse over to look back)

The trail crosses flats before entering another canyon

In the last canyon before we started climbing out

Coming out of the canyon. The trail heads right.

Looking back

The trail crosses a canyon ahead and swings left to pass the balancing rock (mouse over for a close-up)

Looking back after crossing the canyon

Prickly pear cactus (mouse over for a close-up)

Continuing up the trail, we got a closer look at the rock (mouse over)

Pollock Bench came into view

Heading to the summit

On the summit

Continuing down Pollock Bench

Looking west at a canyon

Eventually the view opened up

The trail runs over the ridge in the centre. The Colorado River is seen above it.

There's a balancing rock on the ridge (mouse over)

Looking back at Pollock Bench (centre) from the ridge

<empty><empty>Looking back on the final stretch to the parking lot

Mack (7.1 mi, 5269 ft, 787 ft)

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