#4 - D&J Trail

Round Trip Distance: 4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4597 - 4980 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 45 mins. (bike) - 2 hrs. (hike)
Trailhead: OHV Training Area
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic views

Trail #4, a.k.a the D and J Trail, is located in the Rabbit Valley area of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area near the Colorado/Utah state line west of Grand Junction, Colorado. The Rabbit Valley area has an extensive network of multi-use trails that range from easy to difficult. Various other roads, along with over a 12 mile stretch of the 142 mile long Kokopelli Trail, provide connecting links for visitors to enjoy a multitude of various hikes and rides.

This post begins at the OHV Training Area just east of the Mountain Bike Staging Area.

The trail begins by traveling around the west side of the training area where it crosses Trail #1, the Stay in the Wash Trail.

The loop begins within a half mile of the trailhead. This post follows the loop in the clockwise direction.

Wildflowers are pretty to look at for most people but a person could look at this photo and be disturbed by it. The grassy looking plant in the foreground is the very poisonous death camas. It can be mistaken for wild onions by people and cattle can die within a few hours after foraging on it. The bluish flower is larkspur. People aren't likely to eat it but it causes heavy cattle losses. The cheatgrass that is making up the background is also problematic. Hikers are all too familiar with picking the seeds from their socks but it is also a danger to dogs that get the seeds stuck in their throats where the swelling can suffocate them. If your dog begins coughing check its throat. You might need to make a quick trip to the vet.

The trail comes upon an earthen dam. The most direct route is to pass it on the right. There is a good primitive camping spot on the left near the large boulder and cliff that is accessible by a vehicle from the road.

As the trail crosses the flats it is intersected by Trail #5. Unfortunately there are a few miscreants that like to drive over the trail markers and break them off. If you are unsure which way to go the markers are probably laying flat on the ground.

Just under a mile from the start the trail turns south and parallels an unnamed jeep trail that runs up to the ridge parking area. A small picturesque sandstone ridge borders the trail on the right.

After about 3/4 of a mile the trail gets steep as it climbs the ridge.

It's like a flower shop out here during the springtime.

From the south side of the ridge you can look down over the Trail #8, Rim Trail, area.

The trail follows the ridge as it loops toward the west with a little more climbing to get to its high point.

Before leaving the ridge on the downhill side of the loop the trail junctions with the east end of Trail #3.

The downhill portion of the trail has a few rocky sections before it reaches the red dirt again.

The OHV Training Area is empty in this photo but at times it is jumping with activity as little tykes learn to negotiate the obstacles with their parents help. They are a lot of fun to watch. We both hiked and biked Trail #4. After hiking the trail we discovered that we didn't have a complete map on the GPS so the mountain bike came in handy to make quick work of fixing the problem. Trail #4 gets most of its use from mountain bikers and dirt bikers. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.