Kodel's Canyon K11

One-way Distance: 0.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4680 - 4856 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Devil's Canyon
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic overlooks

The K11 trail is located in the Kodel's Canyon Area of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area near Grand Junction and Fruita, Colorado. The trail takes a short but scenic route between two different points of the K8 trail. As the trail travels along the rim of the hill there are nearby views of the K12 trail below and distant views of the Grand Valley with backdrops of the Little Book Cliffs and the Grand Mesa along the eastern skyline.

For this post we began at the Devil's Canyon trailhead although the Kodel's Canyon trailhead is almost just as close. From the trailhead we followed the D1 trail to the K8 and hiked up it to the K9. From there we hiked down the K9 and ended up back on the K8 a short distance from the lower end of the K11 trail.

The average grade of the K11 trail is 7%. The hill that it climbs is just north of a fault line called the Kodel's Canyon fault. The K1 trail follows the fault as it passes behind the mountain enroute to the Devil's Canyon Area. The tilt of the hillside that the K11 trail follows was caused by slippage along the fault.

The trail itself various between sand and slickrock with a few rock shelves near its lower end.

Within the first 500 feet or so of the hike the K11 trail kisses up against the K8 trail once more.

One of the nicests stretches of the trail is where it travels along the slickrock rim of the canyon. The dropoff is sure to have parents clutching the hands of their kids but other than that the trail is plenty wide at this point so there is no real feel of danger.

The pink and white bands in the sandstone contrasted with the green foliage and orangish colored dirt are always an eye pleaser.

This is the view back over your shoulder.

The point where the trail leaves the rim is marked by a few cairns but until we restacked them they were scattered on the ground. The turn is at a point where it doesn't look like staying on the rim any further is going to be an easy task.

After leaving the rim it is only a couple hundred feet to the K8 trail. From here you can follow the K8 to the left and get back to the Devil's Canyon trailhead. Another option is what we did and that was to follow the K8 trail to the right and hike down past where the K11 trail began. We continued down the K8 from there and explored a neat little cave that is located in the rim of the mountain near the end of the K8 trail.

It is a pretty good scramble to get up to the cave but there is a shallow wash that can be followed to get most of the way there. We were trying to figure out how they managed to have the fire located in the back of the cave and not smoke themselves out. There may have been a natural flume through one of the crevices that is now filled in with dirt. It would have been a fun experiment to light a small fire and see what the smoke did. Anyway, the cave has nothing to do with the K11 trail which is plenty fine all on its own. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.