Located just outside of Grand Junction, Colorado, in the nearby town of Fruita is Colorado National Monument. Expect big views by bike, car, and on foot. Try rock climbing one of the many massive sandstone spires!

1. Be on the lookout for cyclists.

Colorado National Monument is a popular road biking destination. Make sure you check for cyclists while driving along the scenic and historic Rim Rock Drive. If you are cycling, make sure you follow the rules of the road. Lights on all bikes are required in the front and the back.

2. It’s a photographer’s paradise.

Colorado National Monument - Todd Petrie - flickr
Colorado National Monument. Photo credit: Todd Petrie (flickr)

The stark contrast of bright sun and dark shadows cast onto natural monoliths towering into the sky provide a pleasant opportunity for photographers. Wildlife is also an easy target for shutterbugs. Raptors like to build nests high on the cliffs and big horn sheep jump and forage for food on the sides of steep rock spires. In the bottom of the canyon, cast your lens down low for colorful lizards.

3. There’s great rock climbing.

What rock climber doesn’t want their picture taken at the top of a steep sandstone formation that they just conquered? If this is you, or if you just like to belay for your fanatical friends while you stay safety on the ground, you will love Colorado National Monument’s rock climbing. Make sure you follow the parks climbing regulations so others can enjoy rock climbing here in the future.

4. The park’s geology is on display. 

There are distinct layers of geology in the rocks at Colorado National Monument. You can see different layers of rock that vary in color, texture, and material. The oldest of these exposed rocks are 1.7-1.5 billion years old.

5. Check the Weather.

Harpers Corner Road - mark byzewski - Colorado National Monument - flickr -
Harpers Corner Road at Colorado National Monument. Photo credit: Mark Byzewski (flickr)

Weather changes rapidly and can make or break your visitation plans. The weather at Colorado National Monument tends to be very dry, but when it does rain, things can get very muddy and cloudy, blocking amazing views. Couple the dry environment with extra hot temps in the summer, and suddenly, you need to carry double the water. Stay hydrated and be prepared for any kind of weather.

6. The Monument has a rich history.

Do you know the name John Otto? You will after visiting this park. He is the first historical figure to speak out in favor of preserving Colorado National Monument for its awe-inspiring beauty.    

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