Bridgeport Trail, Dominguez Escalante Wilderness, easy hiking near Grand Junction. Off the beaten path doesn’t even begin to explain the unsurpassed beauty and solitude of Colorado’s Dominguez Canyon Wilderness.
Hands down one of our favorite Colorado hikes on the western slope.
Once reaching the Trailhead, you may wonder, “Is this it?”. No worries; in a mile or so, it will be one of the most scenic hiking adventures you’ve had your boots on.
At the parking lot, walk through the green gate. Then, hike alongside the railroad tracks on a dirt road that will eventually cross the rail tracks and lead you to the old Bridgeport Townsite.
You will come upon a kiosk and trail register just before a bridge that crosses the Gunnison River and enter the Dominguez Wilderness.
Being prepared makes all the difference in making a hike an enjoyable and safe experience. > Day Hiker Checklist
Turn left after going across the bridge. You’ll be hiking alongside the Gunnison River toward the Dominguez Canyon.
Kayakers and a canoe of enthusiasts floated downstream. (in the summer months, this area is busy with whitewater rafters) Just before entering the Canyon, we saw several primitive campsites along the river.
You’ve now gone about 2 miles and reached the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area.
We passed through another gate and could hear a small waterfall on our left. Along the trail to our right, we found an old pioneer homestead with remnants of an old corral.
The farther we hiked into Dominguez Canyon Wilderness, the more impressive the views & scenery became. Stunning red canyon walls littered with Piñon & Jupiter surrounded us.
Bighorn sheep are spotted quite often here. However, we did not see one. The only wildlife we encountered was a couple of lizards scurrying across the trail.
We ran into a delightful couple on horseback. Was picturesque in this setting to watch them ride, like being in a western movie.
Alongside the trail were fields of cacti, some still with blooms.
The trail is easy up and down and doable for most. Unfortunately, there is no water source, and it’s hot between the canyon walls. Wide open with little shade. Bring plenty of water & sunscreen.
The deeper we hiked into the canyon, the more rugged and solidarity it became.
About 3.75 miles into Dominguez Canyon, we came to a large boulder full of petroglyphs. This was worth the heat to get here!
We wandered a bit farther down the trail looking for an impressive waterfall we’d heard about but stopped another ½ mile in without finding it. Surrounded by deep red slick-rock canyons, we stopped and enjoyed our lunch, feeling like the entire wilderness was ours.
Hiking back through the Canyon, we stumbled upon more petroglyphs, and like little kids, we felt like we discovered secret treasures.
STEP BACK IN TIME
My photos are just a sprinkling of the beauty surrounding this Wilderness. It’s vast; it’s primitive; it’s truly a step back in time.
This is an easy hiking trail, about 7 miles out and back to the petroglyphs, and a breathtaking look at the Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado.
Finding Bridgepoint Trailhead:
From Grand Junction: About 20 miles south on Hwy 50, toward Delta. Turn right on Bridgepoint Road (dirt road) and drive approximately 3 miles to the Bridgeport Trailhead. (the road dead-ends at the Trailhead).
From Montrose: About 60 miles north on Hwy 50, going through the town of Delta towards Grand Junction. Turn left on Bridgepoint Road.
TIDBITS – Bridgepoint Trail – Big Dominguez Canyon – 7-14 miles out and back
2 miles from Trailhead to access Dominguez Canyon Wilderness
Approximate 2 miles from access to petroglyphs
No fresh drinking water
Family, dog & horseback friendly
Horse trailer parking
Minimal cell service
TIDBITS – Dominguez Canyon Wilderness
4 Access points: Bridgepoint Trailhead, Dominguez Campground, Cactus Park Trailhead & floating down the Gunnison River.
Information on access points: ColoradoCanyonAssociation.org
General Information: Wilderness Connect
Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).
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