Colorado National Monument, Fruita

4.9
#1 of 8 in Things to do in Fruita
See desert land, canyons cut into sandstone, pinion and juniper forests, and wildlife at Colorado National Monument, which you can tour by car or bike, on horseback, or on foot. Hiking and biking trails range in length from 0.4 km (0.25 mi) to 23 km (14 mi), and the scenic drive stretches 37 km (23 mi) through the park. See Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. If you love hiking, go for the Monument Canyon trail--you can encounter wildlife, liquid mudflows, and tall rock formations, with names like Independence Monument and Kissing Couple. Don't forget your camera. Colorado National Monument is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Fruita Edition.
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Colorado National Monument Reviews
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4.9
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  • Following a medical trip to Grand Junction, we decided to drive through the Colorado National Monument on our way home to Durango. I didn't know much about it so I thought it might only merit an hour ...  more »
  • Just the other side of I-70 opposite the town of Fruita is a stunning vista from the top of the rim road in the Monument park. To get there follow the signs and pass through the Ranger station to pay ...  more »
  • We nailed a wonderful weather window in Colorado and enjoyed an absolutely beautiful drive through the uncrowded monument.  more »
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  • Colorado NM is a fantastic park that seems to be by-passed by many in favor of more popular destinations. It has the massive, sheer red sandstone walls like many national parks in the southwest. But there’s more. An imposing 23 mile road called the Rim Rock Drive twists and turns as it gains in elevation to a plateau high above. Tunnels are carved through the red rock. Truth be told, as the road gains (or loses) elevation, it might be daunting to some. The park website states that the road is “challenging, narrow and steep in sections.” But it’s probably one of the best scenic drives in the United States. Once on the high plateau, Rim Rock Drive has spectacular vistas. There is a great visitor center with an informative Ranger walk, a short hike, that takes one to a viewpoint of Window Rock. Along the drive there are more options for day hikes that take you to places like Monument Canyon, the Devil’s Garden, waterfalls (in season) or ancient cliff ruins. Backpacking trails can take you further back into the Monument. Check out options at the visitor center. This park has a current fee of $15.00 for private vehicles. But just getting to drive the “historic“ Rim Rock Road is worth every cent. The bonus is everything you get to do or see along the way.
  • Not to be missed rim rock drive an interesting hikes both long and short. Best campground in the West! We hiked the Monument Valley Trail from bottom to top, about 7 miles in about 3.5 hours on Christmas day with ages 38 to 75. We even saw Bighorn Sheep. Thank for the foresight to protect this amazing canyon and monument spectacular!
  • We're from Salt Lake City and made a quick weekend trip to GJ. It remains one our most memorable trips, in large part due to the fun provided by camping in and exploring the national monument. I recommend stopping by the visitor's center to get a quick history--it definitely makes for a heightened appreciation of the locale--and planning to take your time on a hike or three. You'll definitely want to soak in the gorgeous scenery and amazing views from the top.
  • I can only give this place 5 stars. If you enjoy geology, photography, natural history, art, unbelievably awe-inspiring views, you must place this firmly in your bucket. It is not, as I initially assumed, some man-made brick and mortar building, but a preserved area that should be a National Park. Please check out the website or at least Wikipedia. Then go, bring your camera and prepare to spend several hours soaking in the beauty. Then buy a book explaining just how all this came to be.
  • The Monument is a must-see for anyone visiting this area, all ages considered. At minimum, the Rimrock Drive makes for a great cruise with wonderful overlooks, without even leaving the vehicle. On the opposite end of things, there are a number of long, technical hikes that will give anyone a great workout, and even better views. Between those two options lie a variety of short walks, educational signs, and picnic sights that make for a great day for any group. I recommend that you read a bit about the geology and and native history of the area before visiting.

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10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 38 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Fruita BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Fruita BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Fruita BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Fruita BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Fruita BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Fruita BY A USER FROM GERMANY September, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Amarillo, Colorado & Santa Fe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, teens, kids, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
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