De Beque Canyon Project: Road 209 and “North Switchback Road”

Check out the first two posts about the beginnings of our De Beque Canyon Project here and here!

We tackled one last canyon spur after reaching the gate on Garfield County County 204 before calling it a day. This time, we headed up Brush Creek also known as Garfield County 207 or by the name of the private ranch in the canyon “Kessler Canyon.” This road passing through the Kessler Canyon gates is actually the county road, so we headed up through the gates.

Although there were some oil and gas spurs along the way, there were fewer than we’d seen on other roads in the county. Finally, I saw a spur heading towards the east canyon wall. I was a little skeptical at this point that it would lead to anything at all but the rules of the project demanded that I explore it.

The road continued all the way to the base of the steep wall and then switch backed a couple of times and appeared to be preparing to actually climb the wall. And then I reached this debris slide. While it would be easily passable on a quad and even though it probably could have done it in the XJ, I played it conservatively and Sprocket and I started hiking.

The road climbed steeply for about a mile. Although I didn’t notice any more major washouts, it had clearly not been traveled by a vehicle in a long time.

Finally, we reached an oil and gas site as the grade of the road lessened. According to my map, we were near a road that ran along the top of this ridge and I decided that road (potentially accessible from the Douglas Pass area) would be our turnaround point. The gas site is clearly still used for something as the route down to it from the main road on the ridge had been mowed. Finally we reached the very well traveled route on the ridge.

A prominent sign pointed to where we’d come from and proclaimed them to be the “North Canyon Switchback.” It did not designate whether that was a “trail,” a “route,” or a “road” but I’d go with the first two and not the latter.

Sprocket and I took a peek off to the other side of the ridge and then headed back to the Jeep.

The downhill hike went quickly. There were some storm clouds gathering but nothing too serious. Mostly it was getting later and I was getting hungry!

Before we turned for home, however, we finished driving up canyon. We ran into this “No Trespassing” sign about two miles from where the county (aka public) road was supposed to end (AGAIN). Not wanting to make enemies or call attention, I obeyed but I’m looking in to it!

6 Replies to “De Beque Canyon Project: Road 209 and “North Switchback Road””

      1. LOL … I guess you can see that I don’t own a jeep. Double the gas mileage is good … the FSJ looks a little longer, I’ll have to do some internet research to get some stats I guess.

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