“the spirit of the American west”
Colorado National Monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. But this treasure is much more than a monument. Towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama. You can experience sheer-walled, red rock canyons along the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, where you may spy bighorn sheep and soaring eagles.
Most of Colorado National Monument rises more than 2,000 feet above the Grand Valley of the Colorado River. Situated at the edge of the Uncompahgre Uplift, the park is part of the greater Colorado Plateau, which also embraces such geologic wonders as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Arches. It is a semi-desert land of pinyon pines and junipers, ravens and jays, desert bighorns and coyotes. Magnificent views from highland trails and the Rim Rock Drive stretch from the colorful sheer-walled canyons and fascinating rock sculptures to the distant Colorado River valley, the purple-gray Book Cliffs, and the huge flat-topped mountain called Grand Mesa.
In the age of John Muir, some 1000 miles from Yosemite Valley, a kindred spirit and fervent conservationist John Otto was dedicating himself to protecting and promoting the land that today we know as Colorado National Monument.
Otto built the first trails into this rugged landscape to reach the glorious red rock canyons. He climbed the steep monoliths to post the American Flag from the highest vantage points he could reach. He surveyed the first road, Trail of the Serpent - four miles with 52 switchbacks.
Otto worked tirelessly with the communities of Grand Junction and Fruita advocating for the creation of a national park to protect the extraordinary geology of ancient canyons and towering monoliths. Ultimately, Colorado National Monument was established on May 24, 1911, as a presidential proclamation by President Taft under the authority of the Antiquities Act.
This is worth every penny of the $10 entry fee. This momument will leave you breathless, and is VERY well layed out. After entering the park, the main road will take you up to the top of the mountain that surrounds this momument. I cant remember the total drive length (i want to say 30 mi), but you'll zig zag around some of the most beautiful canyons you'll ever see. There are pull-outs all along the road for amazing vistas, which also tell you a bit of history about the particular landscape that your looking at. I went out of my way (and was time crunched) to make this park a part of my road trip, and it was worth every penny, every second, and made for some amazing memories.
Winding switch back roads reveal some of the most amazing views I've ever seen. You get the cliffs right under you and the Rockies as a backdrop. There are multiple viewpoints and pull-offs to check out the views. Definitely plan on spending a few hours here to see all the great views. Well worth the admission price and time.
$10 entry fee. Take Rim Rock Road around the entire landmark for the most views! Well worth it.
took about 3 hours to get through the entire area, but I stopped at just about every place possible to turn off at. photographer problems.. haha. such a beautiful place, makes you wonder what the world looked like millions of years ago when the monument was first born. my favorite stop was where you can shout in to the canyon and hear a perfect echo of yourself.
Highly recommend anyone to visit this extremely beautiful park! I was impressed...absolutely gorgeous scenery.
Plan on spending a few hour's here and make sure your camera batteries are good because this place is amazing. The mountain skyline is breath taking.
Wet worth it and at the time exactly what we needed. A nice drive that you didn't have to get out of the car for if you didn't want to. Gorgeous.
Awesome views and an amazing drive! Do not miss it!
Some of the most amazing landmarks you can see in the US. Do not pass this by! We tried going back at night also to try to see the milky way but it turns out it's too close to civilization. The lights from Grand Junction blot out the sky.
This is a gorgeous place, if you are in the area it shows you the diamond in the ruff.You will be able to see the entire town along with beautiful landscape. There are sharp turns, although it is so pretty during the night (usually just to see the town lights) you just don't want to drive very fast day or night.
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Colorado National Monument
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