Grand View Overlook, the next viewpoint east of Independence Monument View on Rim Rock Drive, offers a grand view of Colorado National Monument, with spacious vistas of Monument Canyon, Independence Monument, and the wide Grand Valley beyond. The fenced overlook, one of the monument’s best, is reached by a 0.08-mile-long dirt trail from a parking area on the east side of the road. Perched on the edge of a 300-foot-high cliff, the viewpoint looks into Monument Canyon, a deep canyon paved by 1.5-billion-year-old rock. Prominent sandstone formations that can be seen from Grand View include 450-foot-high Independence Monument, Pipe Organ Spire, Organ Pipe Spire, and The Kissing Couple. Directly below the overlook is Grand View Spire, a semi-detached tower with a summit caprock of Kayenta sandstone. Interpretative signs at the overlook explain the canyon’s geology and its various rock layers.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green