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short hikes

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San Angelo, Texas
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56 posts
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short hikes

how long does it take to hike the various shorter hikes in Colorado national monument? I'm trying to schedule out our day and I want to do a short hike, but I'm not sure we'll have the time. the friend coming with me has asthma and I'm on a cancer med that can make me feel fatigued, so it may be a moot point. but I would really like to hike if we are all up to it, so looking for something short so we can have our hike and survive, too!

Destination Expert
for Colorado
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1. Re: short hikes

It's been quite a while since I've hiked in the Monument, so if I were planning some hiking I'd rely on the park information. Did you see these descriptions on the park web page? Maybe you could try two or three of the 1/2 mile (one way) trails to overlooks to get a variety of views. Or the Devil's Kitchen Trail is 3/4 mile each way and ends at an awesome rock formation. nps.gov/colm/…short-hiking-trails.htm

If you do okay with Devil's Kitchen and have more time, you could start on the Old Gordon Trail which is at the same trailhead. It's 4 miles one way, but you could always just hike as long as time permits and turn back when you need to, as it is "out and back" anyway rather than a loop.

Even more than the distance, you'll want to look at the elevation gain/loss and look for "gentle" slopes or "gradual elevation gain." It might take you a little longer than the stated times so you can take it slowly, whereas fast walkers accustomed to the elevation would take less time. Good luck to both of you and I hope you feel great while you're here!

Destination Expert
for Breckenridge
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2. Re: short hikes

Enter on the Fruita side, head up to the ranger station and ask there.

Right behind the ranger station is a a viewpoint which is only a 100 yards or so. Just back from that is a trail that goes out to a few other viewpoints (dirt trail). 1st one is 1/2 mile and the last one is a mile, one way. Very nice, flat and easy and scenic. If one you make the 1st overlook (small fence protecting you from getting too close to the edge) and are feeling so-so but the other feels good, continue on as you will see a bldg up on your left in a few minutes. Head up there to relax and the other can walk back, grab the car and drive around to pick the person up.

Other small look out places along the way, most with very easy walks.

If you come from the Grand Junction side, most of the hikes and overlooks will happen before you get to the ranger station so you will have to know what trail(s) you want to do as no one to ask.

If you are looking for flat hikes in Grand Junction, check out Connected Lakes. You can walk around the lake on a flat dirt trail.


Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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3. Re: short hikes

You don't say when you are coming but an important factor is the temperature. The area is red rocks, which heat up and then reflect that heat back out so it can become very warm as the hours go by. Your best bet is early morning for that reason. As mentioned, the visitor's center is a great place to start (from the Fruita side) because you can go out the back door, down a few steps and see a great view down many canyons and across the Grand Valley to the Grand Mesa to the east. Back to the visitor's center there is a nice back porch with seats so you can sit for awhile, or step inside for a nice video and museum.

I think that if you walk to the overlooks that will probably be enough hiking. There are 4 overlooks that you can't get to by just stepping out of your car. They are pretty easy (just wear some shoes, not flip flops) and take your time. The views are worth it, imho. I've included the link to the hiking brochure, look for the list on the left side of the last page under "Short Hikes." nps.gov/colm/…hiking-site-bulletin_2012.pdf

The Alcove Nature Trail would be the one I would do last if you have some energy left over. Make sure you have water with you, wear a hat and some sunscreen. And take home some great memories of a remarkable place. Hope you have a great trip.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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4. Re: short hikes

SusieLou is correct to warn you about the heat in summer at Colorado National Monument. In addition to Colorado National Monument, a much cooler option is the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway. There are some short trails in the area.


5. Re: short hikes

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