Grand Junction’s Notorious Widowmaker Hill – Two Perspectives
Have you attempted Grand Junction's Widowmaker Hill? You can hike it, or you can bike it, but either way, you're doing it at your own risk. Here are two profoundly different ways to confront this hill.
You'll find Widowmaker several different ways - either from setting out at the Lunch Loop trailhead or from Little Park Road. Some trails leading to Widowmaker are designated as "bicycles only" while others are not.
No matter how you look at this challenging road, it's tricky and potentially dangerous. You'll often see downhill cyclists decked out in crash pads taking the hill as fast as possible. Other times you'll see me walking down it at a snail's pace. To date, I've never tried to bike the trail, and it's probably going to stay that way.
Earlier today I revisited a short video I shot some years ago. It seemed wise to shoot video capturing a first-person view of the trail. While searching out my video, I came across another video of the same trail, but in this case, filmed by a cyclist with a GoPro. Feel free to compare and contrast the two videos below.
I like mine better. It's safer. It's more comfortable. The little black fuzzball you see periodically at the bottom of the screen is my old hiking companion Fluffy. We used to hike Widowmaker and the surrounding trails all the time. Except for the occasion when I slipped and my feet came out from under me, neither Fluffy nor I ever suffered any falls or injuries.
In the video shot by the cyclists, they take the hill in 18 seconds. In my video, the trip down the hill takes 3:19. Hey, I'm slow, but I get there.
While I do mountain bike from time to time and have frequently biked the trails surrounding Widowmaker, to date I've never tried to bike it. Smart money says it's going to stay that way. I am in no way whatsoever the same caliber of cyclist as the two guys in the video.
Widowmaker is cool. It's well worth a look. You have options as to how you choose to conquer it. I recommend my way. There's far less risk of injury.