Short Shot

Round Trip Distance: 2.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Skill level:
Elevation: 5606 - 5896 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Third Flats
Fee: none
Attractions: Multi-use trail

The Short Shot trail is located in the Third Flats section of the BLM Bangs Canyon Management Area. The Third Flats Area doesn't have an official parking area. There are signs near the entrance that direct people to the Bangs Canyon Staging Area to park. The area around the kiosk is all posted 'No Parking'. With that said, most people who use the area either park on the hill on the west side of Little Park Road or if they have a high clearance vehicle they drive past the trailhead kiosk and park in one of the spots a little further in.

The trailhead kiosk has a nice map of the Third Flats trails. You can also download a map from the BLM to printout and take with you or you can pick up a free color map at one of the Visitor Centers along I70.

The Short Shot trail is only a minor connector trail by itself but when it is used in conjunction with the Twist-N-Shout and Nut-N-2-It trails it makes a very nice short loop hike. The trail begins by following the Third Flats road and turning left on the Twist-N-Shout trail within just a few hundred yards of the trailhead.

The Twist-N-Shout trail travels around the hillside and works its way across the various gullies heading generally in a northeast direction.

Right before the Twist-N-Shout trail makes its big turn back toward the west the Short Shot trail departs from it to the right. The trail drops down into the wash and then climbs back out and over the hillside heading east.

From the side of the hill there are some sweeping views of the Grand Junction area and the east end of the valley. If you look closely you can make out the Gunnison River as it winds its way through the canyons toward its confluence with the Colorado River.

Just over the ridge the Short Shot trail meets up with the Nut-N-2-It trail. Take a right at this point and continue around the hill toward the Third Flats Road.

This section of the Nut-N-2-It trail does a little climbing but for the most part it is pretty gentle.

The Nut-N-2-It trail comes to an end where it comes to the Third Flats Road.

The Third Flats Road completes the loop. There are a few moderately sloped hills to climb as you follow the road back to the trailhead. Deer can be spotted at times around dusk and dawn.

The Short Shot trail is a nice short loop with enough elevation change to get a good workout whether you are walking your dog, doing a little trail running, or just enjoying a hike after work. The Third Flats Area is shared between hikers, bikers and off road enthusiasts but there never seems to be much of a crowd. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.