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North America > United States of America > Rocky Mountains (United States of America) > Colorado > Northwestern Colorado > Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

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Colorado National Monument is a United States National Monument in Northwestern Colorado.

Understand[edit]

Independence Monument near Grand Junction

History[edit]

Landscape[edit]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Climate[edit]

Colorado National Monument
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
See Colorado National Monument's 7 day forecast    Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
Metric conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

Get in[edit]

  • Denver International Airport, (DEN IATA). Commonly referred to as DIA. It is located about 20 miles to the east of downtown Denver. Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all maintain hubs at the airport in Concourses A, B, and C respectively. Most other major domestic carriers also have service here.
  • Grand Junction Regional Airport, (GJT IATA), otherwise known as Walker Field, is served by six airlines with nonstop service to Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Some service is seasonal. For private pilots, it is also possible to fly your small plane into the airport and leave it while you tour the area. Most hotels on Horizon Drive offer shuttle service from the airport. Taxi service is also available at the airport.
  • Sunshine Taxi, +1-970-245-8294.
Rental car agencies at Walker Field include:

By car[edit]

A map of Colorado National Monument
  • Interstate 70 runs east-west just north of town. Grand Junction is about 30 minutes east of the Utah border and 4 hours west of Denver.
  • US 50 runs north-south beginning in downtown, running south to Delta and Montrose, then turning east towards Gunnison and Pueblo.
  • US 6 runs east-west parallel to Interstate 70.
  • US 139 runs north south, rejoining I-70 west of Grand Junction, in Loma. US 139 travels north over Douglas Pass to Rangely.

By train[edit]

Amtrak serves nearby Grand Junction with the California Zephyr, which runs daily between Emeryville (in the San Francisco Bay Area) and Chicago. For more information, see rail travel in the US.

But once at the rail station, you will still have to rent a car.

By bus[edit]

  • Grand Junction, Clifton and Palisade

By bike[edit]

For extreme mountain bikers, it's possible to follow the Kokopelli Trail from Moab, Utah, then join up with the trail system of the monument. This is a five or six day, strenuous excursion where you must pack in your own food, shelter and water.

There's another north-south running slick rock trail that fat tire enthusiasts can follow into town:

  • Tabeguache Trail, +1-970-244-3000. Trail crosses public land for 142 miles connecting Montrose and Grand Junction. The Tabeguache Trail begins in Shavano Valley and weaves through the canyons, mesas and highlands of the Uncompahgre Plateau before ending in "No Thoroughfare Canyon," a few miles west of Grand Junction.

Fees and permits[edit]

The entrance fee for a private, non-commercial vehicle is $10. Fees for motorcycles, hikers or bicyclists are $5. Entrance fees are good for seven consecutive days.

There are several passes for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all national parks including Colorado National Monument:

  • The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail for $90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass.
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
  • Individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass.
  • 4th graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid in a Park website is required.

In 2018 the National Park Service will offer four days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week), September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day weekend).

Get around[edit]

Rim Rock Drive is a sheer drop on many parts of the monument

See[edit]

Do[edit]

  • Rim Rock Drive
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Climbing
  • Horseback Riding

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Lodging[edit]

Camping[edit]

Saddle Horn Campground near the visitor center has 80 sites with charcoal grills, picnic tables and spaces for tents. Campsites have shared clean toilets and water outlets. Many of the campsites have great views over the valley. Campers need to self-register but there is a camp host on-site. Campings costs $20 per night per site. Backcountry camping is also permitted.

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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