Corkscrew Trail: A stair-climber’s dream in Grand Junction
DIRECTIONS TO THE TRAILHEAD
According to the National Park Service, you may find the Corkscrew Trail Loop from the east entrance. Proceed north on Monument Road 0.6 miles; turn left on South Camp Road. Drive 2.6 miles to its junction with South Broadway. Turn left and go 0.5 miles. Turn left onto Wildwood Drive and go 0.5 miles and watch closely for a brown trailhead sign on the right at what appears to be driveway. Turn down this road to the trailhead. This trailhead is shared with Ute Canyon Trail and Liberty Cap Trail.
Warning, folks! Corkscrew Trail Loop, part of Colorado National Monument’s Liberty Cap trail system, is not for the faint-hearted. Its lung- (and leg-) busting ups, combined with a serpentine descent, makes for an eventful 90+ minutes. For some more interested in a leisurely hike, it may take upwards of two hours.
But, it’s quick, gorgeous and covered in cactuses. One more big rain and I expect these flowering succulents to be exploding with blooms!
According to the National Park Service, John Otto created Corkscrew in 1909. I both cursed and thanked Otto vocally throughout this short hike (a little more than three miles), as I was glad for the beautiful views along the upper ridge but was left panting all the way up.
Here’s a tip: Start the hike counter-clockwise, taking the first part of Liberty Cap uphill for about a mile, then connect with Corkscrew to go down. It’s a shorter uphill this way.
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