Hunting Ground

Round Trip Distance: 2.0 -7.0 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4948 - 5656 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Bean Ranch
Fee: none
Attractions: Multi-use trail

The Hunting Ground trail is in the Bean Ranch Area south of Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail begins off of what we call Jack's Trail and passes through several small valleys that are part of the lower Indian Creek drainage. In times past some of the local tribes of the Ute Indians would spend the winter months around Kannah Creek and Indian Creek. We are supposing that that was the origin of the Hunting Grounds name. We have been busy making up names for most of the old roads and trails in the Bean Ranch Area following the theme of Jack and the Beanstalk. Since the Hunting Ground has been on maps for years we are using that for the name of the trail that passes through it.

To get to the trailhead drive about 4.5 miles south of Whitewater on Highway 50 and turn right onto the Bean Ranch Road. Follow the Bean Ranch Road over the hill. The pavement ends after 1.3 miles and the boundary to the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area comes up after another half mile. The large parking area to the right of the cattleguard serves as the trailhead for this and other posts.

Take the road heading west from the trailhead using the information in the post for the Beanstalk to get to the top of the ridgeline.

At the top of the Beanstalk follow the road to the right along what we are calling Jack's Trail.

About the 4.33 mile point from the trailhead Jack's Trail makes a turn to the left. This is the point where the Hunting Ground trail begins.

The Hunting Ground follows the drainage heading east toward the Grand Mesa.

These pictures were taken during the winter. At certain other times of the year these hills have a pleasing carpet of green with a variety of wildflowers.

As the trail reaches its end it comes to a small hill with an old fence line along the righthand side of the road. Somewhere in here there appears to be a section of private property and we aren't sure if it is to the left or to the right.

Once on top of the little hill a house can be seen on the left that is partially secluded behind another part of the hill. The driveway leading to the house has a No Trespassing sign and there is also one beside the road just ahead. We never have been able to figure out if this one hundred yard section of road is a public thoroughfare or not. If it is private property it doesn't say so coming from the direction we are traveling. On one of our rides we stayed to the right of the old fence line but there isn't a trail going that way and it didn't seem right to make one if it isn't necessary. At some point we are going to investigate a game trail that would avoid this spot entirely but that route is a single track and would only be good for hiking, horseback riding and mountain bikes.

After the house the trail dumps out onto a wide dirt road.

And the wide dirt road ends at the Bean Ranch Road where it is less than a half mile back to the trailhead.

Primitive camping is allowed throughout this part of the Dominguez-Escalante NCA and there are a lot of good spots to camp along the various roads. Currently there aren't any areas posted as no camping but it is always best to pick a spot a little off to the side where you aren't blocking anyone elses access and where people won't feel like they are disturbing you when they pass through. The Hunting Ground trail opens up a pretty section of countryside that sees very few visitors. We have ridden it on our mountain bikes several times and have always found it enjoyable. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your favorite toy or 'Take a hike'.