Colorado National Monument

Colorado National MonumentEarlier this month, I had the pleasure of visiting the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, Colorado. It is a beautiful place, and we even camped there.

Colorado National Monument is what you think of when you think of the American West. There are canyons, desert, plateaus, wildlife, and more.

What is there to do at Colorado National Monument?

There are plenty of things for you and your family to do if you decide to visit Colorado National Monument. You can:

  • Go for a hike. There are numerous trails here for you to enjoy. Some are very strenuous and are only made for expert hikers, but there are other hikes for beginners to do as well.
  • Drive the Rim Rock Drive. This is a road that is 23 miles long and it takes you to all of the overlooks and trails. It is beautiful and it’s a very fun drive.
  • Camp. See below!
  • Ride your bike. We saw many people riding their bike when we were here. Be careful though as you are up very high on the roads and you need to watch out for cars.
  • Go rock climbing. I’ve always wanted to rock climb. It’s allowed here!

What is the weather like at Colorado National Monument?

The area near and in Colorado National Monument experiences all four seasons. The summer months can be very hot with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The winter months can be very cold and there might be snow.

How much does it cost to visit Colorado National Monument?

The Colorado National Monument does have fee free days. The fee free days that remain in the year 2014 include August 25th, September 27th, and November 11th.

If you are not attending on one of the fee free days you will have to pay an entrance fee. Non-commercial fees are as follows: A private car is $10, and that covers all of the people within a car. A motorcyclist is charged $5. Hikers and bicyclist (there were MANY people on bikes, so please drive carefully), also pay $5 to enter Colorado National Monument. The fees that you pay are good for seven days.

What about camping at  Colorado National Monument?

We camped when we were at Colorado National Monument at the Saddlehorn Campground. It was a lot of fun, and it was a BEAUTIFUL place to camp. It is located 4 miles away from the Fruita entrance (the west entrance of Colorado National Monument). Some of the camp sites are reservable, whereas others are not. We had no problem just showing up and finding the perfect place for us. We also had our two dogs with us.

I will say that the bathrooms here are the nicest camp bathrooms that I have ever been to. They were extremely clean, well-lit, had outlets if you need to plug something in, and were just overall very nice. There are no showers at this campground though.

I will also say that the bugs were not pleasant here though. Wood fires are not allowed, so I was bit up insanely. I think I ended up receiving around 30 bug bites and that was even though we went through TWO cans of bug spray while we were there. I had to resort to wearing a jacket and pants even though it was super hot outside.

The fee to camp here is $20.

Have you ever visited Colorado National Monument?


Image via Flickr by quintanomedia


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