Sunday Night in Dominguez Canyon


Jan 7, 2015
Several of my friends and I have started a weekly adventure we lovingly call the "Tandoori Hike Club", where we journey to a local hiking trail, have an adventure, and follow it with lunch or dinner at a local Nepalese restaurant that is very delicious. So far we've done Echo Canyon in the Colorado National Monument, the Palisade Rim, and this past weekend we did Dominguez Canyon with the added bonus that one of my friends and I elected to camp over in the canyon. It's been unseasonably warm of late, so we wanted to take advantage of it!

We met at Bridgeport Trailhead southeast of Grand Junction, CO, and loaded up. My friend who was camping has a neurological condition that prevents her from carrying much weight on her shoulders, and I'm a large guy, so I loaded my trusty vintage Jansport D3 external frame to the gills and hiked in. About a mile from the trailhead we set up camp and had lunch.


It was a beautiful day to be near the river!


Once set up, we continued up the river to Dominguez Canyon itself. The creek creates a waterfall here, and it was flowing pretty solidly for this early in the season.


We did the obligatory group shot (minus me, the photographer) at the rim, and then lounged around for a bit, stuck our feet in the water, etc.



After that, we continued up canyon a little ways. Did I mention how glorious of a day it was? The day was pretty glorious, just in case I haven't yet. This is the view up the canyon.


I'll be back here to backpack the whole length (just over 12 miles) at the beginning of May.

As we continued up the canyon, we explored the ruins of an old corral...


... and saw a unique hive or bird's nest of some kind that looked almost bejeweled.


The stream was flowing pretty well too, and made a nice spot to rest before we headed back to camp.


Our camp was next to this big rock, which provided a beautiful sunning/coffee sipping spot to watch the sun come over the canyon walls in the morning.


The rest of the "club" took off, but my friend and I continued hiking and exploring. Forgive the cameraphone photo, but there was a family of bighorn sheep right behind our camp at one point.


In retrospect, they're almost impossible to see with this camera. Oh well! They're there, I promise.

After we made dinner and relaxed a bit, we took a nice long night hike in the glow of an extremely powerful quarter moon. We headed back up the canyon, where it was windy and chilly. We made it back to where we'd gone earlier in the day before heading back to camp.

The next morning, we basked in the sunshine. I was thankful for my boots! They put up with a lot.


We went down to the river to stick our feet in and soak up some sun before we had to pack up.


Then we packed up. We lashed everything (everything, I'm telling you) to the frame of my pack. My mantra was, "I can carry anything for a mile!", and so it was.


Don't laugh too hard. I would never carry that much if I wasn't trying to show someone they could still camp in comfort. I got a lot of looks from other, more appropriately-loaded hikers on our way out. I jokingly offered someone a ride out, too! One of the hikers suggested I be called "Super 8" since I was essentially carrying an entire hotel.

Oh well! It was a great trip, obscene load or otherwise. Highly recommended! All in all, we did about ten miles counting all the out and backs. It was great! And I can't wait to do the whole canyon in the other direction in about a month!
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