Colorado National Monument is a stunning natural landmark located only minutes from downtown Grand Junction. The main attractions are gigantic sandstone rocks that tower out of the ground along the whole park.
The drive itself is a quite the engineering accomplishment, as it winds up, down, around, and through Colorado Plateau Mountains. Striking vistas occur non-stop with plenty of scenic viewpoints to pull your car or bike over.
Aside from a car, biking and hiking are the two other methods of transportation inside the park. Numerous scenic hiking trails exist throughout the park, with plenty of easy and short ones for a quick hike. Pets aren’t permitted on any trails, but are permitted in the campground and in parking lots.
Make sure you stop by each of the scenic overlooks. Several of them contain nifty little hikes through various landscapes. The drive takes about an hour by itself, but plan to spend at least a few hours, so you can enjoy all the stops. Some of the favorites are Ute Canyon Overlook, Independence Monument and The Highlands.
Saddlehorn Campground is the only campground in the park, located on the western end near Fruita. Campsites are fairly primitive, with a table, fire ring and tent pad. They overlook the town of Fruita.
Address: 1750 Rimrock Dr, Fruita
Entrance Fees: $10/vehicle, $5/motorcycle/individual
Camping: Saddlehorn Campground has 80 sites, no electric hookup, first-come first-serve
Learn more about Colorado National Monument.
The Colorado River State Park has a Fruita section, located near the western start of the monument. Campsites here have electric hook-ups and river access.