Round Trip Distance: 5.3 - 6.5 miles
Elevation: 4607 - 5193 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Devil's Canyon
Attractions: Scenic geology
The D5 trail is located in the Devil's Canyon Area of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area near Grand Junction and Fruita, Colorado. The trail begins near the lower end of the D1 trail where it climbs a hill to the west and follows a course that leads around the rims of all of the lower canyons overlooking the D4 and D6 trails. At its upper end it once again reconnects with the D1 trail at the point that it crosses into the Flume Canyon drainage.
Follow the D1 trail from the Devil's Canyon parking area. You can grab a doggy bag here for your pet and at times there will be area trail maps available.
Stay on the D1 trail for about 4 tenths of a mile to where the D5 trail begins on the right.
Within a tenth of a mile or so the D4 trail will fork off on the left and after another tenth of a mile stay to the left where the D5 trail departs from the double track and begins ascending the ridge.
The first hundred yards of the trail are a little steep but it quickly levels off to a more gradual slope.
Once up the ridge to where the trail begins leveling off you can look out over the D4 canyon and see much of the course that lies ahead. From here the trail is going to skirt the canyons below by following the bench above each one. As you hike you can enjoy the various hoodoos and the pink and white banded entrada sandstone cliffs.
Just past the 1 mile point the trail crosses into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area.
Around the 1.5 mile point there is a shortcut that crosses over a low spot in the ridge. For this post we continued straight ahead around the rim of the D4 canyon and on the return trip we took the shortcut. Going to the right at this point cuts a little over 3/4 of a mile off of the hike but at the expense of some of the scenic views.
As the trail continues around the rim there is the opportunity to walk out on the points and get a better look at a few of the hoodoos that you can't help but to admire when hiking in the area.
The trail continues around the bench and meets the point where the shortcut popped over the ridge. On this side of the ridge the trail is traveling above the D6 canyon.
After passing by the D6 canyon the trail climbs away from the bench and ascends the ridge that separates the Devil's Canyon and Flume Canyon areas.
Once on the ridge the trail is traveling above the D1 trail as it passes behind the fault. Just past the 3 mile point the D5 trail drops down from the ridge and crosses some slickrock to where it ends at the D1 trail. In our original post of the D5 trail in 2009 we took the left fork at this spot and followed the D1 trail back to the trailhead. For this post we turned around and returned to the trailhead the way we came. Other hikers tend to make either one of those choices as well as hiking up the D1 trail and then getting on the D5 trail at this point and hiking down it. So many trails, so many choices.
Hiking back down the D5 trail just means that besides heading downhill now you get to see more of the same pretty things from a different direction.
All of the trails in the Devil's Canyon area seem to have their own special attractions but the D5 trail seems to lump many of them together in one hike. For those that find themselves hiking the same trails everyday and haven't tried the Devil's Canyon area yet then consider the D5 trail as your next new adventure. If you want to see it for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.