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Colorado National Monument

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Overview

Towering over the American West, the monoliths of Colorado National Monument rise above a vast plateau. The striking red rock, sheer canyon walls, and incredible spires create an unforgettable panorama. While the desert landscape appears barren at first glance, big horn sheep, collared lizards, and eagles all call the area home. Whether you make your way into the backcountry or follow the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, Colorado National Monument provides an amazing escape.

To learn more about the Colorado National Monument, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
  • Saddlehorn Visitor Center: 9 am to 4:30 pm, open daily

Visiting Tips

Colorado National Monument is open year round, 24 hours a day (closed December 25). Information about temporary or storm closures can be found by calling the park hotline at (970) 858-3617.

The most popular times to visit the park are during the spring and fall, when temperatures are moderate. Though hot in the summer months, winter months bring cold temperatures and snowfall.

Fees and Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

If you'd like to extend your visit to Colorado National Monument overnight, there is one campground that operates within the Monument. The Saddlehorn Campground is open year-round and features both first-come, first-serve sites, as well as reservable sites. Sites are suitable for recreational vehicles as well as tents. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-(877) 444-6777.

Food & Drink

There are no places to purchase food or beverages within the monument, but the nearby towns of Fruita and Grand Junction have many options for a variety of tastes.

Other Activities

Year round there are a variety of activities available to visitors of the Colorado National Monument. Take a drive along the historic Rim Rock Drive and stop along the way to picnic among ancient sandstones and desert flora and fauna. If you're looking to escape from the every day, there are many popular places to rock climb, cycle, and hike, and it is easy to get off of the beaten track. Spectacular especially at dawn and dusk, the Monument is the perfect location to practice photography skills, or to simply appreciate the unique desert landscape. Visit Colorado National Monument's website for more information on the park's other activities.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Colorado National Monument - 4

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gem Favorite Without spoiling the surprise of the Bathtub, here is the view into Monument Canyon from the location.  Just make your way, carefully to the edge to see a piece of history.

Otto's Bathtub

(8) Redlands, CO
gem Favorite Panorama of Liberty Cap during a winter sunrise. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew

Liberty Cap

(8) Redlands, CO
gem Favorite Window Rock.

Book Cliffs View

(5) Fruita, CO
gem Favorite Coke Ovens Trail.

Coke Ovens Overlook

(5) Redlands, CO

Recommended Routes in Colorado National Monument - 8

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Favorite Monumental in Grand Junction, this is what running on the Western Slope is all about
Intermediate/Difficult

Monument Canyon and Wedding Canyon

7.2 mi 11.5 km 961' Up 292.84 m Up 960' Down 292.75 m Down

Fruita, CO
Favorite Panorama of Liberty Cap during a winter sunrise. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Difficult

Lower Liberty Cap Trail

3.3 mi 5.4 km 1,103' Up 336.17 m Up 1,103' Down 336.07 m Down

Redlands, CO
Favorite If you are photographer, go in the early morning for beautiful orange glow. You'll also have the place to yourself!
Intermediate

Devils Kitchen

1.1 mi 1.8 km 242' Up 73.74 m Up 242' Down 73.82 m Down

Redlands, CO
Favorite Window Rock.
Intermediate

Window Rock Lollipop Loop

1.7 mi 2.7 km 182' Up 55.36 m Up 182' Down 55.4 m Down

Fruita, CO
Favorite No Thoroughfare Canyon. with permission from Peter B. Pearman
Intermediate/Difficult

No Thoroughfare Canyon Trail

6.7 mi 10.8 km 1,980' Up 603.57 m Up 161' Down 49.02 m Down

Redlands, CO
Favorite Expect an amazing sunset like this every evening in GJ.
Intermediate

Serpents Trail

3.8 mi 6.1 km 789' Up 240.51 m Up 789' Down 240.47 m Down

Redlands, CO
Favorite Panorama from the intersection of CCC Trail and Black Ridge Trail. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Intermediate

Black Ridge Trail

11.4 mi 18.3 km 1,204' Up 366.84 m Up 1,203' Down 366.81 m Down

Redlands, CO
Favorite Coke Ovens from the north.
Easy/Intermediate

Coke Ovens

1.0 mi 1.7 km 156' Up 47.59 m Up 156' Down 47.59 m Down

Redlands, CO

Colorado National Monument Running

  • 77 Miles 124 Kilometers of Trail
  • 8 Recommended Routes
  • 4 Gems Gems
  • 8 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 14 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 5 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
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Weather Averages


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Trails in Colorado National Monument - 19

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5.8 mi 9.4 km #1Monument Canyon Trail
Intermediate
Fruita, CO
Intermediate
Fruita, CO 16 
3.0 mi 4.8 km #2The Ribbon
Very Difficult
Orchard Mesa, CO
Very Difficult
Orchard Mesa, CO
4.1 mi 6.6 km #3Ute Canyon Trail
Intermediate
Redlands, CO
Intermediate
Redlands, CO
1.3 mi 2.2 km #4Corkscrew Trail
Difficult
Redlands, CO
Difficult
Redlands, CO
0.7 mi 1.1 km #5Canyon Rim Trail
Intermediate
Fruita, CO
Intermediate
Fruita, CO
0.4 mi 0.6 km #6Otto's Trail
Easy
Fruita, CO
Easy
Fruita, CO
2.2 mi 3.5 km #7Wedding Canyon Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Fruita, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Fruita, CO
0.3 mi 0.5 km #8Devils Kitchen Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Redlands, CO
Easy/Intermediate
Redlands, CO
4.9 mi 7.9 km #9Bench Route
Intermediate
Redlands, CO
Intermediate
Redlands, CO
0.4 mi 0.6 km #10Coke Ovens Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Redlands, CO
Easy/Intermediate
Redlands, CO

Photos of Colorado National Monument - 85

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Photos

There it is! The Independence Monument
Jul 31, 2016 near Fruita, CO
Window Rock.
Jul 22, 2016 near Fruita, CO
Independence Monument.
Jul 21, 2016 near Fruita, CO
Monumental in Grand Junction, this is what running on the Western Slope is all about
Apr 22, 2015 near Fruita, CO
More beautiful formations with cloud and sun caught during the end of a storm
Apr 22, 2015 near Fruita, CO
Kissing Couple as sen from the Monument Canyon Trail
May 5, 2015 near Redlands, CO
If you are photographer, go in the early morning for beautiful orange glow. You'll also have the place to yourself!
Jan 9, 2016 near Redlands, CO
The base of the cliffs on Monument Canyon Trail, the day before the snow
Apr 22, 2015 near Fruita, CO