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Colorado National Monument

WI
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for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
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Colorado National Monument

We're driving through Grand Junction on the way to Glenwood Springs and we do have plans for Glenwood but would consider a stop here to make this drive (Rim Rock Drive/Colorado National Monument). I believe it said it's 23 miles, does it begin right out of Grand Junction or is it out of the way? Is it an easy drive and about how long (with some quick in/out picture stops) might it take round trip, assuming we're doubling it back then driving to Glenwood Springs. Any further info. would be helpful. Also is it worth the drive? I haven't seen it mentioned on here that I've noticed (on posts) but we're interested in good scenery. Thanks.

Edited: 13 May 2010, 20:28
WI
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for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
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1. Re: Colorado National Monument

I found more logistics/proximity info. here:

americansouthwest.net/colorado/colorado/nati…

but anything else is appreciated in your personal experiences with this trek, is it a hidden gem not often mentioned as it sounds quite scenic so I'm surprised to have not heard of it sooner.

WestSlope,CO
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for Colorado
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2. Re: Colorado National Monument

nps.gov/colm/…scenic-rim-rock-drive.htm

It's been a while since we've driven the whole route, but I'm guessing an hour or so.

You don't have to double back on the Rim Drive, as you can enter from Fruita (west entrance) and exit the east entrance, then head through town back to the Interstate. From the website:

"For travelers going Westbound through the Grand Valley: Take Highway I-70 to Grand Junction, and take Exit 31 (Horizon Drive). Follow signs through Grand Junction to the east entrance.

For travelers going Eastbound through the Grand Valley: Take Highway I-70 to Exit 19 (Fruita) and go south on Highway 340 to the west entrance, which is approximately three miles from Fruita. The Visitor Center and Campground are four miles up from the west entrance."

Edited: 13 May 2010, 21:25
Arvada, Colorado
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for Boulder
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3. Re: Colorado National Monument

It is worth the drive - I've always considered it one of the hidden gems. I don't think many bother because they are more focused on Moab, etc.

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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4. Re: Colorado National Monument

My front yard view is the Colorado National Monument, what a beautiful sight. It is well worth the drive. I would suggest driving from the Fruita side if you have a fear of sheer drop offs since you will spend more of your time against the mountainside. The entrance is just a mile or so outside of Fruita, easy to get to from I-70. Lots of great pull-outs and some wonderful places for short hikes to great vistas and photo opportunities. Best time is in the morning, the lighting is best then and it does warm up in the afternoon. Please don't plan your drive for June 13th as that is the day that the Ride the Rockies is going over the Monument, 2,000 bicyclists and their support vehicles on a 2-lane road is not going to be a peaceful visit for the average tourist.

Grand Junction...
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5. Re: Colorado National Monument

I live across the street from the CNM. Here are a few shots I took over there this past winter......well worth taking the ride through there....you never know what you will see....but it will always be something good.

bighugelabs.com/onblack.php…

bighugelabs.com/onblack.php…

bighugelabs.com/onblack.php…

WestSlope,CO
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for Colorado
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6. Re: Colorado National Monument

Gorgeous photos, Reddirtdawg!

Lakenheath, Suffolk
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7. Re: Colorado National Monument

Awesome photos!

WI
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for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
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8. Re: Colorado National Monument

beautiful looking place and photos, thanks for sharing. We'll definitely try and drive through on our visit!

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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9. Re: Colorado National Monument

Fantastic photos - thanks for sharing.

Chicago
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for Pompano Beach
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10. Re: Colorado National Monument

We stopped at CNM on the way to Moab and thought it was worth the stop. The views will be more dramatic early or late in the day, if the weather is clear. We entered on the west end, drove part of the way and turned around due to time constraints. Definitely plan to return here again, when we have more time.