Grandstaff Trail was so incredible I had to add it to our Colorado hikes list even though it’s in Utah! Not far from Grand Junction, CO it’s simply worth the drive.

It’s been raining and snowing in Colorado in May so off we went to find sun and warmth. Did not have to go far, it’s on the western slope in the high deserts on the Colorado Plateau.

 

Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).

 

Not far into Utah from the Colorado State Line on I-70 West is Utah’s Scenic Byway 128 that takes you towards the town of Moab. The name Scenic Byway is an understatement, it’s a beautiful drive.

About 3 miles before reaching the turn to Moab (US191) you will find Grandstaff Trailhead and a hike definitely not to be missed! At the end of this trail, you’ll find the famous Morning Glory Natural Bridge, a sight to behold. It spans 243 feet and is the 6th longest natural rock span in the United States.

 

 

ONE OF THE PRETTIEST TRAILS WE’VE HIKED

From the start, it’s an adventure. About a mile in we crossed the first creek by hopping rocks and found ourselves at several more creek crossing in just minutes from the first one. So get used to rock hopping, there are at least 10 crossings.

 

 

10+  CREEK CROSSINGS

The beginning of Grandstaff Trail is very mild and easygoing with lush green vegetation lining the year-round creek. Arrow signs mark the trail as it switches back and forth across the creek. Even so, it’s tricky at times to stay on the trail. We found ourselves on false trails at times but was easy to backtrack our way back to the trail.

 

 

 

AMPLE SHADE

Grandstaff Trail in the early morning and evening hours would provide ample shade not normally found on other trails near Moab, since this area is known for its high temps in the summer months. It’s early in May today and the temperature is a perfect 70 degrees.

Bring water, water, water … suggestions? Carry a Nalgene or Klean Kanteen water bottle to stay hydrated on all your hikes.

CLICK HERE > for practical gear that we love at Crazy About Colorado and have in our backpacks on every hike.

 

 

After the last creek crossing, we are heading up the canyon to the right across sand and rocks ascending the final stretch to Morning Glory Bridge.

 

 

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MORNING GLORY BRIDGE

Walk up and it’s an impressive “wow” moment. Get underneath it and it’s indescribable how monumental it is.

 

 

We could hear water trickling down out of the rock face from somewhere giving it a magical setting. Obviously, others felt the same as none of us left in a hurry.

NOTE: Poison Ivy is abundant along the entire trail, and more so under the Morning Glory Bridge. Watch for the 3 leaves! For a photo click here.

 

 

 

 

The span between the rockface and the arch is small so it’s hard to distinguish from a distance but being up close to it is remarkable.

A couple of non-essentials but FUN to have with you hiking in Utah and in Colorado “Wildflowers of Utah’s Colorado Plateau” and “Colorado Mountain Club Rocky Mountain Wildflowers – 2nd Edition”.

 

 

HEADING BACK DOWN THE TRAIL

Rated moderate it’s actually fairly gentle but adventurous nonetheless with so many creek crossing and small areas of minor rock scrambling. I loved it for its sandstone canyons and desert-like terrain. Highly recommend.

TIDBITS

Approx: 5 miles out & back

Rated: moderate

Restroom at trailhead

Open to dogs & hikers

Managed by Moab Field Office, BLM

No fees – it’s free

Nearest town: Moab, UT

Distance from Fruita, CO – 84.2 miles

Another amazing trail not to miss near the Grand Junction area is “Bridgeport Trail” in the Dominguez Escalante Wilderness south of Grand Junction on Hwy 50. Solitary, rugged, and incredible petroglyphs.

LOCATED: 4 miles northeast of Moab, Utah – From Grand Junction, CO – Take I-70 West to UT 128 south, Utah’s Scenic Byway). From Moab, UT – Take US 191 t2.5 miles to the junction with UT 128. Turn right and drive 3.2 miles to the Trailhead.

Check out my favorite Colorado Hikes…

13 Rugged Alpine Lake Hikes

Colorado Hikes, 23 Awesome Trails

Drop a comment below for any questions. Share your adventures with me. I’d love to hear from you, HAPPY TRAILS…

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Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).