Absolutely FANTASTIC rock formations. This was by far one of the best things I saw on my trip round the Wild West. I entered through the West (Fruita) entrance and drove right the way through the monument and canyons to the East (Grand Junction) entrance.
They have an instructive Visitor's centre which gave a short talk on the rocks, their composition and formation and syubsequent weathering into the beautiful shapes you can see now.
You don't have to walk anywhere if you don't want, you can do the whole thing by car, but for the hardy, there are many trails you can take of varying distances depending on your fitness. The shortest is .25 of a mile and takes 1/4 hour and the longest 8.5 miles and 6 hours. It must be marvellous in the Autumn or the Spring but as it was extremely hot the day I visited and to avoid being fried to a crisp, I chose the easy route by car. It is, however, possible to make frequent stops to admire the view and take pictures.
They have a campground with all the facilities, a barbecue and table, restrooms and drinking water for which you pay a fee. Other camping is free but you have to have a permit. Beware of high winds, flash floods, lightning and thunderstorms.
Colorado National Monument is actually a plateau surrounded by canyons and monolithic structures of sandstone and shale. The Monument is located near the town of Fruita, off the Co 340 exit on I70.
Colorado National Monument has a great trail system. Many of these trails lead to the bottom of the canyons. Trail descriptions and locations are available in a pamphlet which can be obtained at the Rim Rock Visitor's Center. There are also camping facilities and backcountry camping is also permitted. Perhaps its due to its out of the way location, but this area doesn't draw large crowds. It is a beautiful spot to drive, photograph and hike, and all in relative solitude.
The Dinosaur Journey Museum is wonderful. It is full of skeletons and animated robot models. You can watch people cleaning real dinosaur bones. Displays have informative and educational comments, but the musuem is also fun.
400 Jurassic Ave, Fruita, CO 81521
Good for: Business
Not the cheapest hotel I could find but I was tired and it was getting dark. The total price for the...more
399 Jurassic Avenue, Fruita, CO, 81521, USA
Good for: Couples
570 Raptor Road
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
798 N. Mesa, Fruita, Colorado, 81521, United States
Good for: Families
Located in the old bank building we found a very good coffee shop. It is clean and very well staffed. From the large windos to the old screen door it is a very welcoming place.
The staff a skilled and efficient. They were also friendly and plugged in. They seemed to know everyone that entered by name. The made some good coffee and were very excited about their muffins.
Favorite Dish: Barbara had a very nice latte and I had a nice cup of coffee. We also had one of the best bran muffins that I have had in some time. We were in formed that they were made with local honey.