GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Want a little sparkle in your life? Why not hike Grand Junction's Mica Mine trail. With its unique, glittery look and easy pace, this trail is sure to be a hit for hikers of all levels.
Located in the Bangs Canyon area on BLM land in Grand Junction, the Mica Mine hike is both beautiful as well as easily accessible. The round-trip distance to the mine is a little under three miles, plus there's stream crossings and the remnants of an abandoned mica mining area to be explored. Hike a little further past the mine (which is on the left) and you'll eventually hit a waterfall (though at this time of year, it's pretty dried up).
Look for crushed-up quartz and flecks of mica, both on the trail and in the rock walls lining the path. When the sun hits it just right, it twinkles like diamonds.
According to the Bureau of Land Management, "the Bangs Canyon Special Recreation Management Area lies immediately southwest of Grand Junction and encompasses a stunning landscape of high-desert canyons and plateaus overlooking the Grand Valley and Grand Mesa."
BLM directions: "From the intersection of First Street and Grand Avenue in Grand Junction, travel west on Grand Avenue (Highway 340) for approximately one mile and turn left on Monument Road. Turn left again on D Road. D Road becomes Rosevale Road. Turn right onto Little Park Road. Travel approximately three miles on Little Park Road until you reach the Little Park Trailhead. Travel an additional two and half miles to reach the Bangs Canyon Trailhead."