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Mike's Hikes 4.8.2023: Solitude and Sunset in the Adobe Badlands

Date and Time: Saturday, April 8, approximately 4:00-7:30pm.

Join us on the first Mike’s Hike of the year, and hopefully a jaw-dropping sunset, in the Adobe Badlands! The Adobe Badlands, located to the north and east of the city of Delta, provide a critical resource as a place for solitude and unconfined recreation, not to mention awe inspiring vistas and incredible sunsets. This hike will begin at 4pm and wrap up in time to watch the setting sun’s rays light up the picturesque Mancos shale slopes.

The greater Adobe Badlands are a rare and vulnerable environment. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program considers salt desert shrub lands in the area to be globally vulnerable and locally imperiled. Additionally, this region provides essential habitat linkage between the high elevations of Grand Mesa, the canyons of Dominguez Escalante National Conservation Area, and the high country of the Uncompahgre Plateau.

Hikers will enjoy views of the expansive Mancos shale slopes, whose remarkably rugged topography offers surprising levels of solitude and sense of extreme isolation. This area provides a rare opportunity to find solitude without having to travel far distances from home. This area is also home to the Colorado Hookless Cactus, a threatened cactus species that only grows in a small area between Grand Junction and Delta. We will be on the lookout for those.

Hike Description: This is an easy to moderate hike, with a total distance of two or three miles. There is no defined trail, so we’ll be hiking across rocky and gently sloped surfaces. There are small cacti in the area (not dog friendly, sorry), so we’ll be watching our footing and making frequent stops to take in the views. Group is limited to 15 people.

What to bring: Good boots, lots of water, sunscreen, extra layers, hiking poles, camera, and snacks or picnic dinner


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