McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area

McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area Colorado
Sandstone canyons dominate the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area near Grand Junction, which has everything from arches to wilderness to mountain biking trails. | Photo by davidaholmes /


The McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area features sandstone canyons, arches and monoliths, three key sites for dinosaur discoveries, the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness and world-class mountain biking trails.

The 123,430-acre conservation area, created in 2000, covers a stretch of the Colorado Plateau and the Colorado River west of Grand Junction and is administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management. It was named after former U.S. Rep Scott McInnis, R-Colo., in 2005.

The 75,550-arcre Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness features red rock canyons, a vast alcove in Mee Canyon and natural arches in Rattlesnake Canyon.

The sandstone canyons and monoliths resemble those in the neighboring Colorado National Monument, while the arches resemble those at Arches National Park to the west and rank second in number only to the park’s arches.

The dinosaur skeletons found in the area include the Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, Camarasaurus, Ceratosaurus, Allosaurus, Nodosaurus, and Stegosaurus.

The conservation area also includes a stretch of the Old Spanish Trail along the Colorado River and petroglyphys and pictographs. The top mountain biking trails are the 141-mile Kokopelli and the 4-mile Mack Ridge.

McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
Southwest of Grand Junction