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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Gonzales

Colorado National Monument

The Colorado National Monument is a must-see while visiting Grand Junction, Colorado! Fair warning, the twists, and turns of the road are not for those who are scared of heights. The Rim Rock Drive scenic route is a 23-mile winding road with beautiful views. If you start in Grand Junction, you will end up in a small town called Fruita, which happens to be where I am from! This town is a haven for those who love the outdoors.

Courtesy of Unsplash

The monument is made up of sheer red-rock cliffs within 23 miles of steep canyons and thin monoliths that reach as tall as 450 feet. It's most popular for hiking, biking, and rock climbing, but you can also go horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and even camping.

Important Information

Permits for entering the monument are $25.00 per vehicle, $20.00 per motorcycle, and $15.00 for cyclists. Your permit is good for seven consecutive days.

Here is the hiking/trail map: Trail Map

To learn more about camping in the Colorado National Monument, click HERE.

What to Pack + What to Wear

Make sure to pack plenty of water! Remember, you are hiking in the desert. You are also going to want to make sure your hiking shoes have good grips, as most of the trail is rocks. Some other things I highly recommend packing are a hiking stick, snacks, hydration packets, and layers. It is Colorado and the weather tends to change its mind frequently.

I recommend wearing pants so your legs are covered. There is a lot of shrubbery and cactuses, so this gives you some extra protection. Also, be sure to watch out for snakes. I would also recommend wearing a light breathable shirt. Most of the trails are in the sun and it gets hot, however, while in the shade it can cool down quickly. Bring a thin long sleeve as a layering option.

Recommendations Near By

The town of Fruita has so many great little nooks and crannies! The best pizza I have ever had is in this quaint little town. And it's only about 10 minutes from Grand Junction if you want to explore that town as well. Call me biased, but I think Fruita is much better!

Restaurants: The Hot Tomato (pizza), Camilla's Kaffe (breakfast & lunch), Rib City (bbq)

El Tapatio (Mexican), and Dragon Treasure (Chinese)

Breweries: Copper Club Brewing Company, Monumental Breer Works

Coffee Shops: Aspen Street Coffee

Photos by @colonial.farms. You can find more images located in 'The Gardeners Portfolio".

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