Colorado National Monument, Fruita
See desert land, canyons cut into sandstone, pinion and juniper forests, and wildlife at Colorado National Monument, which you can tour by car or bike, on horseback, or on foot. Hiking and biking trails range in length from 0.4 km (0.25 mi) to 23 km (14 mi), and the scenic drive stretches 37 km (23 mi) through the park. See Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. If you love hiking, go for the Monument Canyon trail--you can encounter wildlife, liquid mudflows, and tall rock formations, with names like Independence Monument and Kissing Couple. Don't forget your camera. Colorado National Monument is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Fruita Edition.
Colorado National Monument Reviews
I lived in Grand Junction for a long time and this is one of the favorite places I enjoyed going to on a regular basis. From the beautiful hikes, to paint balling up on Glade Park, to jumping in the p... more »
was a sunny day and everywhere you turned was another great vista to enjoy..the canyons and rocks were beautiful more »
Colorado NM is a fantastic park that seems to be by-passed by many in favor of more popular destinations. It has the massive, sheer red sandstone walls like many national parks in the southwest. But there’s more. An imposing 23 mile road called the Rim Rock Drive twists and turns as it gains in elevation to a plateau high above. Tunnels are carved through the red rock. Truth be told, as the road gains (or loses) elevation, it might be daunting to some. The park website states that the road is “challenging, narrow and steep in sections.” But it’s probably one of the best scenic drives in the United States. Once on the high plateau, Rim Rock Drive has spectacular vistas. There is a great visitor center with an informative Ranger walk, a short hike, that takes one to a viewpoint of Window Rock. Along the drive, there are more options for day hikes that take you to places like Monument Canyon, the Devil’s Garden, waterfalls (in season) or ancient cliff ruins. Backpacking trails can take you further back into the Monument. Check out options at the visitor center. This park has a current fee of $15.00 for private vehicles. But just getting to drive the “historic“ Rim Rock Road is worth every cent. The bonus is everything you get to do or see along the way.
If you ever have a spare hour and a half in your life you must drive through, its better to spend half a day up there though. The Visitor center is clean, and the roads are well maintained. Its practically a mini grand canyon and will be appreciated by anyone who loves nature. Hikes galore, beautiful scenery, friendly staff...even the cops are cool!!!
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