West of Grand Junction and south of Fruita, the Colorado National Monument has a variety of hiking trails to explore with spectacular scenery. Overall, the monument encompases amazing red rock formations and colorful canyons. The best Colorado National Monument hiking can be experienced during the months of April to May and September to October. The most popular trail...
West of Grand Junction and south of Fruita, the Colorado National Monument has a variety of hiking trails to explore with spectacular scenery. Overall, the monument encompases amazing red rock formations and colorful canyons. The best Colorado National Monument hiking can be experienced during the months of April to May and September to October. The most popular trails including the 1 mile Otto's Trail to Sentinel Spire overlook, the family-friendly Devil's Kitchen Trail to a cove of boulders, and the challenging 11 mile Monument Canyon Trail to Independence Monument.
To reach the hiking in Colorado National Monument from Grand Junction, head west on US70 to Exit #19. Head south on SR340 for about 4 miles to the west entrance.
There are plenty of trails to explore within the monument. Here are a few descriptions:
Old Gordon Trail (4 miles): Steadily ascending trail that follows the path of historic lumber and cattle drive road. The park's geologic story is told almost in its entirety through the layers of rock naturally exhibited along this largely undeveloped trail route.
Black Ridge Trail (5.5 miles) - Highest trail in the park with far-reaching views west to Utah canyonlands, east to Grand Valley, and south to the San Juan Mountains. Follows up-and-down terrain of Black Ridge. Trail crosses Bureau of Land Management Lands.
Monument Canyon Trail (6 miles) - Steep 600-foot descent from the plateau into Monument Canyon where many of the park's major rock sculptures-Independence Monument, Kissing Couple, and the Coke Ovens-tower overhead.
Ute Canyon Trail (7 miles) - Rigorous descent into narrow Ute Canyon from the plateau follows a maintained trail. The route then follows streambed with seasonal stream and pools bordered by cottonwoods and willows. A few arches may be seen.
Liberty Cap Trail (7 miles) - Trail winds across gently sloping Monument Mesa through pinyon-juniper forest and sagebrush flats for 5.5 miles to Liberty Cap rock sculpture. Ideal for horseback riding. Last 1.5 miles drops steeply to Grand Valley.
North Thoroughfare Canyon Trail (8.5 miles) - Ascent on maintained trail followed by undeveloped route through remote No Thoroughfare Canyon. Canyon walls rise more than 400 feet above floor. Steep terrain!
PRO TIP: The Colorado National Monument is very hot and dry during summer months. There is limited water within the area year round. During winter months, there can be snow and icy on the roads and trails.
Overall, Colorado National Monument is the 60th most popular hiking trail of all 66 hikes in Colorado. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Colorado National Monument including Dominguez Canyon, Tabeguache Trail and Marys Loop / Horsethief / Russlers.
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