Devil's Kitchen Picnic Area

Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4870 - 5191 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Devil's Kitchen Picnic Area
Fee: $5 individual - $15 vehicle - $40 annual pass
Attractions: Scenic geology

The Devil's Kitchen Picnic Area is a great place for a family get together. There is one main trail that is easy to follow for the first quarter mile or so. After that the trail becomes more moderate to difficult. In the warmer months you can enjoy restrooms with running water or a porta-potty is made available in the cooler months. The picnic are has a nice shelter, which is wheelchair accessible, about 12 picnic tables and several charcoal grills for cooking. There isn't a fee for using the area, although there is a fee to enter the Colorado National Monument, and they don't require reservations so it's first come. In the past we have had birthday and graduation parties here.

The park officials had posted a sign giving information on recent mountain lion sightings in the area. Since we had three of our grandkids with us we took extra precautions to keep them close at hand. That is always a good idea on any trail because mountain lions have even been spotted on the Grand Junction River Front trails and I've seen black bears in the Little Book Cliffs.

The hiking trail started out as a smooth path. I thought that it might have been wheelchair accessible also but it turned out to be just a tease.

The first part of the trail was pretty easy for our toddling trio. Once we dropped over the hill it became a lot more challenging but they all thought it was great fun. They were careful to leave their fingerprints on every rock along the way.

We hiked in about a half mile before turning around. I have climbed the cliffs to the top and met up with the serpent trail years before.

The seasonal stream bed that courses through the bottom area can be followed to gain access to the boundary fence and adjacent neighborhood.

There were several trails that led back up to the ridge. We thought this one looked pretty interesting so we opted to give it a try.

Our little hikers appeared to be having a lot of fun on their great adventure.

We worked our way back down the trail to the picnic shelter and explored one of the other draws for awhile before leaving. This picnic area is a real jewel to have such easy access to. I might mention that it is only open from about 7 am - 5 pm then they close the gate. They have had problems with vandals so I suppose they have had to put some restrictions on the areas usage. I took a few extra pictures of the facility to give an idea of what is available and included them in the following slideshow. The Google Map at the top of the post will help with getting directions to the Devil's Kitchen Picnic Area. Of course, after you eat you can always 'Take a hike'.