Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

Quick Facts

Colorado National Monument

Colorado

(970) 858-3617

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

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.

Located within Colorado National Monument's 32 square miles is a fascinating landscape of deep canyons and soaring cliffs. Colorado National Monument is a hidden gem offering a varied array of activities for visitors of all ages, abilities, and interests. Sightseeing, hiking, biking, and ranger-led programs are just a few of the exciting choices awaiting you. Be sure to check out the junior ranger program - designed for kids, these activities are fun at any age.

Map of Colorado

Latitude, Longitude: 39.079719, -108.699173

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Rim Rock Drive is a very popular destination and road for bicyclists. Also, bicycles are permitted ONLY on Rim Rock Drive and in Saddlehorn Campground

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Colorado National Monument's Rim Rock Drive is one of the most spectacular drives in the United States. Redrock canyons, crisp blue skies, and verdant green juniper splash fantastic views along the way for motorists and bicyclists. However, the road is challenging, narrow, and steep in some sections with sheer dropoffs. Special considerations must be made for road travel since motorists and bicyclists share the road. Use caution when on tight corners and hills. On the east side of the monument, motorists may encounter large trucks that use four miles of the monument's roadway to access the community of Glade Park.

  • Camping

    With 80 camping sites on a first come, first-served basis the Saddlehorn Campground near the Saddlehorn Visitor Center is a very popular place for camping. Sites are generally available at Saddlehorn Campground, except during holiday weekends or sometimes during festivals that are held around the Grand Valley. Check at the entrance stations upon arrival.

    Backcountry camping is also permitted. A free backcountry permit is required and may be obtained at the visitor center. Water is not available in the backcountry, even during spring runoff due to a high Selenium content. Remember to take plenty of water with you: one gallon per person is recommended per day in the summer months.

  • Climbing

    The sandstone cliffs and spires of Colorado National Monument attract hundreds of climbers a year. Most routes in the park require "traditional" climbing techniques. The installation of new permanent hardware is prohibited. Please be respectful of this pristine environment, and adhere to the park's climbing regulations.

  • Hiking

    Colorado National Monument's trails offer many opportunities to hikers. Bird watchers and photographers discover the splendor that they traveled so far to find. Hikes range from only 0.25 miles to over 14 miles. Pets and Bicycles are prohibited.

  • Horseback Riding

    A limited number of horseback opportunities are available in the park. Please talk to visitor center staff for more information.

  • Picnicking

    There are three picnic areas: (1) adjacent to the visitor center, (2) near Saddlehorn Campground, (3) at the Devils Kitchen Picnic Area. All have tables, water (seasonally), and restrooms. The Devils Kitchen and the visitor center picnic areas have shade shelters. Groups of 15 or more require a permit.

Seasonality/Weather

Colorado National Monument is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Saddlehorn Campground is also open year-round. With elevations ranging from 4,000 ft to nearly 7,000 ft, weather at Colorado National Monument is represented by semidesert and upland climates. Also, temperatures are highly variable with summer highs ranging into the low 100s in the valley floor and in some cases can reach 110+ inside the neighboring canyon country. Winters at the monument are generally mild with lows occasionally dipping into the subzero readings.

Park Partners

Colorado National Monument Association

The Colorado National Monument Association (CNMA) is a cooperating associations established to support Colorado National Monument. When visitors make a purchase from CNMA online or in park store, proceeds from the sale are used to finance new publications and to assist the National Park Service with educational, interpretive and scientific programs in Colorado National Monument.

Directions

Driving

Westbound: Highway I-70 to Grand Junction, exit at Horizon Drive, Exit 31 to East Entrance. Eastbound: Highway I-70 to Fruita, Colorado, Exit 19 to West Entrance.

Flying

Grand Junction Regional Airport is Western Colorado's largest commercial airport. Grand Junction Regional Airport is the the primary airport between Salt Lake City and Denver.

Public Transportation

Tour bus service available. Contact Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau for more information. Amtrak provides daily service to Grand Junction.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(970) 858-3617

Links