Flume Canyon F1

Round Trip Distance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4463 - 5045 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 15 mins.
Trailhead: Pollock Bench
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic trail

The F1 trail is located in the Flume Canyon/Pollock Canyon Area of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area near Grand Junction and Fruita, Colorado. The trail begins at the Pollock Bench trailhead and makes a 5 mile loop that takes it into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area. The west side of the loop travels across the open area near the mouth of the canyon to the pink and white entrada cliffs that it skirts as it heads south. After about 2 1/2 miles the trail loops back toward the north where the east branch of the F1 follows along the rim of Flume Creek Canyon until it reaches the beginning of the loop and returns to the trailhead.

The Flume Canyon F1 trail begins at the Pollock Bench trailhead. To get there drive south out of Fruita on Highway 340 toward the Colorado National Monument. After crossing the Colorado River turn west onto Kingsview Road. Follow the paved road for a half mile and bear left when it turns to gravel. Continue for another mile or two to the Pollock Bench trailhead. The road is easily passable by passenger cars although it can be washboardy at times.

A short distance from the trailhead take the left fork at the F1/P1 junction to follow the F1 trail.

The lower section of the F1 trail climbs in and out of the wash several times as it makes its way from the trailhead into the canyon.

At the half mile point from the trailhead the P2 trail, which connect the lower end of the F1 trail to the lower end of the P1 trail, begins on the right.

From the F1/P2 intersection the trail drops back into the wash where the Flume Creek Canyon trail begins on the left.

After climbing back out of the wash the trail comes to the beginning of the loop portion of the hike just over the 6 tenths of a mile point. For this post we are following the right fork and hiking the loop in the counterclockwise direction.

From where the loop began the trail cuts across a large flat open area toward the mouth of the deeper part of Flume Canyon. After a short distance the trail crosses into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area.

The trail eventually works its way closer to the entrada cliffs.

At the 2.4 mile point the F2 trail, which connect the upper end of the F1 trail to the upper end of the P1 trail on Pollock Bench, begins on the right.

After passing the F2 trail junction the F1 begins looping around through the mouth of the inner Flume Canyon area. This part of the hike climbs over a ridge where the trail descends a steep slope into the wash of Flume Creek. The area is pretty enough to make the whole crossover worth the extra effort.

After the trail gets into the wash of Flume Creek it stays there for over a mile. At this point the trail is heading back towards the trailhead along the eastern side of the loop.

Right before the trail finally leaves the wash it is joined on the right by the Devil's Canyon D1 trail that runs from here all the way over to the Devil's Canyon trailhead.

The trail leaves the wash right before a large spillover and for the remainder of the loop it travels right along the rim of Flume Creek Canyon. In places the Flume Creek Canyon trail can be seen below.

The loop comes to an end at the 4.5 mile point of the hike leaving a distance of a half mile to retrace to get back to the trailhead.

There are a few unmarked trails in the Flume Canyon area that cause a bit of consternation with some hikers. One unmarked trail that gets a lot of traffic is used mostly by horseback riders to get from the lower end of the F1 trail to the Devil's Canyon Area where there is a nearby equestrian parking area. We have hiked the trail and will add it to our map when time permits. At present a person will have no trouble finding their way if they avoid turning onto any trails that don't have an F1 marker pointing the way. The Flume Canyon F1 trail sees hikers of all ages. If you want to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.