Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

Park Regulations & Safety


Weddings, Church Services, Family Reunions, Memorial Services, and Other Site-Specific Celebrations

Marriage ceremonies, family reunions, memorial services and other site-specific celebrations require a special use permit. Events attended by more than 15 people are only permitted within the following locations in Colorado National Monument: in the vicinity of the Book Cliffs Overlook Area, the Saddlehorn and Devils Kitchen Picnic Areas and the Saddlehorn Amphitheater. Events attended by less than 15 people may be held at other locations with permission.

In general the following conditions apply for wedding, and other site-specific ceremonies:

1. The number of vehicles may be limited to reduce parking problems.

2. Entrance fees must be paid by all attendees.

3. The number of participants may be limited depending on the selected location. The Devils Kitchen Picnic Area has 15 tables and 6 grills, the Saddlehorn Picnic Area has 45 tables and 18 grills, the Saddlehorn Amphitheater seats 250 people and the Book Cliffs Overlook area can accommodate approximately 100 people and approximately 50 people around the shelter.

4. The duration of the ceremony is usually limited to one hour.

5. No area shall be closed to the general public during the ceremony. Exclusive use of an area is not permitted.

6. Areas normally closed to the public cannot be used, and certain sensitive resource zones cannot be used.

7. Music accompanying the event is limited to unamplified musical instruments.

8. Travel to and from the site must be via established trails and roads.

9. The use of rice, birdseed, flower petals, balloons, or any non-native plant seed is prohibited.

10. Liquor is allowed in designated picnic areas only.

11. Horns, cans tied behind cars are prohibited.

12. An approved, signed copy of the permit must be in your possession during the ceremony.

Other stipulations may be added depending on the specific nature of your request.

Fee Schedule: (fees are non-refundable)

Wedding Permit - $100.00

Picnic and Memorial Service Permit (15 people or more for 3 hours) - $50.00

Picnic and Memorial Service Permit (14 people or less for 3 hours) - $25.00

Monitoring Fee Per Hour (if applicable) - $50.00

How to Apply

Complete the Application for Special Use Permit and return it to the address on the form, attn. Special Use Permit Coordinator. Enclose a check or money order in the appropriate amount, made payable to the National Park Service. Please allow at least 14 days for processing.

For More Information

Colorado National Monument

Fruita, Colorado 81521

E-Mail us

(970)858-3617 ext. 335

Area Information

For information about planning a wedding in the Grand Junction and Fruita areas (licenses, reception facilities, etc.) please visit: Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau and the City of Fruita website.


Pets want to have as much fun as you do, but they have limitations here at the monument. Pets are allowed on a leash in Saddlehorn Campground and along the roadway; they are not allowed in the backcountry or on any trail.


The desert can be deadly for pets. Car temperatures rise quickly in the sun, even on cool days. Your pet can easily die of heat exhaustion. If you are leaving a pet in a car, crack the windows as much as possible and leave water to drink. We recommend you not leave pets in the car at all when temperatures are above 68 degrees, even with the windows cracked.

Your Safety

Colorado National Monument contains rugged and remote landscapes. Always be prepared when hiking by carrying a map, compass, extra water, food, first aid kit and warm clothing.

  • Bicyclists and motorists share the Rim Rock Drive – please drive or bike cautiously. Cyclists are required to ride single file at all times within the monument. 36 CFR 4:30 (d) (3)
  • Use bicycle lights in the tunnels.   
  • Watch your step and your children at overlooks, along canyon rims and steep dropoffs.
  • Watch where you put your feet and hands. You may be sharing the land with rattlesnakes and scorpions.
  • When hiking, carry a gallon of water per person per day. Use sunscreen and a hat. Wear sturdy footwear, a long sleeve shirt and long pants.  Gnats can be a problem from May to August – carry insect repellant.
  • Be sure you tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return.
  • From April-July, seasonal pools may exist in canyon bottoms.  Please do not enter these pools.  Sunscreens and lotions pollute these waters that are important to wildlife.
  • Avoid ridge tops and open ground during lightning storms.
  • Less than ¼ inch of rain can produce Flash Floods. Flash Floods are caused by run-off from intense, localized thunderstorms that drop a large amount of rain over a short period of time. They are most common in July, August and September, but can occur at any time of the year. Move to higher ground immediately.