Hike the Rattlesnake Arches Trail in Black Ridge Wilderness

Rate this Adventure Rattlesnake Arches Trailhead, Fruita, Colorado, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    3.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    300 Feet

Dog Friendly
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Rattlesnake Canyon is home to the largest concentration of natural rock arches outside of Utah's Arches National Park. With stunning vistas and amazingly unique terrain, this is one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Colorado.

Put simply, Rattlesnake Arches is home to some of the most beautiful views you'll ever experience in the United States. This portion of the Rattlesnake Arches Trail follows along the upper rim of the canyon and allows you to experience 9 total arches within about 2 miles of hiking.

The hike along the upper rim is relatively easy. The most difficult part is the initial descent from the trailhead, which is only about a quarter-mile long. Once you get down, you'll have to hike about another half-mile or so. The rest of the trail is flat and follows a faint path that changes from gravel to sand to rock. Make sure to bring your camera as the sights will be beautiful.

You'll be able to actually walk on a few of the arches, which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) encourages. However, make sure to be careful and walk slowly as some of them are quite high and can be narrow.

Regardless, this is one stunning trail that you should add to your to-do list!

For information on how to access this trailhead, check out my other post about backpacking in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness (which I highly recommend doing!). 

Pack List

  • Capable hiking shoes
  • Water! There is no source along the trail
  • Camera gear and tripod
  • Bug spray
  • Decent backpack or CamelBak
  • Polarized sunglasses 
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Jon Mattrisch Explorer

Outdoor enthusiast and photographer from Milwaukee, WI. Camping, hiking, exploring, biking and more. I love it all and I try to capture as much of it as possible. Exploring my home state and exhausting all there is to see, which might take me my whole life. Worth it!

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