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Window Rock Lollipop Loop

Intermediate
 4.7 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Head out on this run along the edge of the canyon rim with amazing views of Monument Canyon.


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Map Key

1.7

Miles

2.7

KM

94%

Runnable

5,774' 1,760 m

High

5,647' 1,721 m

Low

182' 55 m

Up

182' 55 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

13%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Views

Overview

A lovely, out-and-back, lollipop loop that features some of the best views in the national monument, this route links the Canyon Rim Trail and Window Rock Trail.

Runner Notes

A short-and-sweet route on a fairly wide, dirt path for a sunrise jog with an expansive view at the turnaround point. The Visitor Center has water and restrooms.

This area can get pretty crowded during early Spring and Fall. If you're going to run this during those times, start early!

Description

To access the start of this run, head to the Visitors Center off Rimrock Drive. From the south side of the building, head east and get ready to be taken on an other-worldly visual experience along the Canyon Rim Trail.

Beginning alongside the visitor center, follow the trail along the canyon rim as you traverse scrubby desert landscapes to an overlook near Sentinel Spire. Behold the striking desert monoliths before you, towering hundreds of feet above the valley floor amidst a colorful canvas of sandstone walls.

Continuing on from Sentinel Spire, ascend gently to a junction with the Window Rock Trail. Continue along the Window Rock Trail as it descends moderately from the mesa-top through sparse pinyon pine and Utah juniper to the lookout near the cliff edge. Peer over the edge in wonder at Monument Canyon's towering sandstone monoliths as you take a break, maybe drink some water, and enjoy your surroundings.

From this location, Independence Monument, the Pipe Organ, and Sentinel Spire can be seen to the south. Continue along the trail as it loops back to the junction with the Canyon Rim Trail. Enjoy the same route from a new perspective as you return to the Visitor Center parking area.

Flora & Fauna

This route heads through the Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, which is commonly found between the elevations of 4,500 and 6,500 feet. Given the smaller stature of the pinyon pine and Utah juniper, to combat the lack of water for growth, these landscapes are often referred to as pygmy forest. Between the juniper and pinyon pines, there are a number of other cacti and forbs that take root such as sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and mountain mahogany.

History & Background

The Colorado National Monument was established in 1916 and only accessible by horse or on foot for a number of years. Much of the work to establish buildings and camps was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, starting in 1933. Some of their biggest accomplishments were constructing Rim Rock Drive and the Window Rock Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes

#1952

Overall
  4.7 from 6 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#270

in Colorado

#1,952

Overall
40 Views Last Month
2,873 Since Jul 19, 2016
Intermediate

17%
17%
67%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Window Rock.
Jul 22, 2016 near Fruita, CO
From right to left from the foreground to the back, Praying Hands, Monument Canyon, Independence Monument.
Jul 14, 2016 near Fruita, CO
Monument Canyon, Colorado National Monument, Colorado.
Feb 22, 2016 near Fruita, CO
Looking into Monument Canyon, Colorado National Monument, Colorado.
Jun 28, 2016 near Fruita, CO
The Monument at sunset. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Jun 28, 2016 near Fruita, CO

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Jul 27, 2017
Aaron Salley