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“Worth a visit if in the area” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument
Fruita, CO
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Ranked #1 of 13 attractions in Fruita
Type: National Parks, Mountains, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Parks, Monuments/ Statues
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Attraction Details
Owner description: This monument, 23,000 acres of canyons, plateaus and massive towers of naturally sculpted monoliths, includes Balance Rock, a 600-ton boulder perched on a rock pedestal.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Worth a visit if in the area”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

I can't tell why this is called a monument and not a park. It is a great place to visit and there are several trails for hiking. We entered through the Fruita entrance which I recommend, this way you can stop by the visitor center earlier, 4 miles from Fruita entrance 19 miles from GJ entrance. The visitor center has two videos available, we watched the one that showed the geologic history of the area and was well worth the 12 minutes, especially for my 10 year old daughter. The visitor center has a H2O bottle refill station. We spent almost 4 hours driving from the Fruita entrance to the Grand Junction entrance. We stopped at EVERY pull off and did a couple of short hikes. Could get through much quicker but could also could take longer if you did the longer trails. There was very little traffic, my guess is this is an under visited spot. Not to be missed if you are in the area. A highlight for my daughter was seeing the desert big horn. Enjoy.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Minneapolis
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Stunning views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

There are stunning views and a variety of trails. There are fascinating rock formations and beautiful canyons. It is a must for any tour of western Colorado.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ogden, Utah
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
50 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Great view of 4 big horn sheep”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

I live in Utah, and have been all over the red rock country. This country was just as spectacular as some of the national parks in Utah. If you are lucky enough to have a senior pass, free. If not, $10 per car. The visitor center had two very intersting movies. We stopped at all the suggested pull outs. We saw 4 big horn sheep at the grand view look out on the other side of the road on a cliff that was quite close.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
419 reviews 419 reviews
172 attraction reviews
Reviews in 114 cities Reviews in 114 cities
236 helpful votes 236 helpful votes
“One Monument After Another”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

It is a National park, so prepare to pay the Federal Fees. But it’s all worth it. Two entrances: East, near Grand Junction and West, near Fruita. If you are more of a sunset person, enter using the East entrance and if mornings are your thing, enter from the West. This way you have the best light for photos or just to enjoy the spending views.

The East entrance only takes you through about a mile or two of interesting red rock formations and breathtaking views of the valley below. But then, there is another 15 miles of dullness, until you reach the last portion of the drive with spectacular rock formations and views of the Colorado River.

My choice would always be to enter from the West and drive a couple of miles to the Visitors center where you can view two free movies, one on the geological past of the area, very interesting, and one photographic essay, rather inept if you ask me, given the splendid nature material they had to work with. Make arrangements to sleep in the campground behind the Visitors center (for that you would need either a tent or an RV, either one $20/night, no hookups), then get up half an hour before sunrise and drive 2-4 miles E from the Visitors center, to see Independence Monument and the Coke Ovens at sunset, not to mention glimpses of the Colorado river snake and the town below the Monument, it sure makes you think of Eternity.

Or, sleep in Grand Junction or Fruita, but make sure you are at the Western End of the Park drive half an hour before sunrise (the rangers in the center will give you the exact time of sunrise and sunset if you haven’t figured out by now how to find it on the Web).

The Big Horn Sheep you are likely to see early in the morning are just the icing on the cake, they’ll be breakfasting along the road.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A Must See When in Grand Junction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

Am amazing drive with lookouts. You will glad you stopped. You can make the drive from Fruita to Grand Junction or vice-versa.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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