Colorado National Monument is in Fruita and Grand Junction, CO. We hiked there for a few days while we were in the area. It was similar to Utah with all the red rocks, but different because of all the mountains in the background. It’s like the transition from the red rocks of Utah to the mountains of Colorado and that makes for lots of gorgeous scenery!
On the way up into the hills we saw lots of big horn sheep.
And we drove through a couple of cool tunnels. I don’t know if we could have driven our house through there!
There are several beautiful viewpoints and hikes to do in this park. We went there in the evenings a few times after work because we were staying at a campground just 3 miles from the entrance. We also spent a whole weekend day there.
There is an entrance to this park in Fruita and also in Grand Junction and you can drive the whole scenic Rimrock Drive through from one side to the other. Since the Fruita side was near our campground we drove all the way to the Grand Junction side only on the weekend when we had more time. We did 2 hikes on the Grand Junction side: the Devil’s Kitchen and the Serpent’s Trail. Who comes up with these names? I can tell you that the Devil’s Kitchen was a very cool and refreshing rock room at the end of the hike where you could rest and cool off. Not at all how I would imagine the devil’s kitchen to really feel like!
Serpent’s Trail was a long hike uphill and then back down with amazing views all around. And since it’s called Serpent’s Trail I expected to see lots of snakes but we only saw one.
Later in the week we went back again in the evening so the kid’s could get their Junior Ranger badges.
And we also did the Coke Ovens hike that night because it was too crowded on the weekend.
On the way to the Coke Ovens we found this cave that was a little bit off the trail. My 3 guys thought it would be fun to go in it, but I thought it was just creepy. We walked in and were surprised at how far back it goes. I opened up my flashlight app on my phone so we could see where we were going. We did see light at the end of the tunnel but it got too narrow to crawl through (at least for adults). All I could think of was what if there is a bear in here, or snakes or who knows what else? Ah, the adventures of living with boys! 🙂
The rest of the pictures are of some of the scenic viewpoints you can find along Rimrock Drive.
They have a Balanced Rock just like Arches National Park!
While we were in Fruita we stayed at James M. Robb Colorado River State Park. Now that’s a mouthful of a name for a state park! We had a really nice site with plenty of space (unlike those crowded RV parks in Moab). 🙂
Fat Cat loved this campground! She would hide in the bushes and try to hunt birds. One evening Chris & I were sitting outside enjoying the sunset and the cat was crouched down like she was ready to attack something. Suddenly a black bird came low enough for her and she leaped into the air and actually touched the bird! The bird flew safely away, but oh how I wish I could have captured that on video! The picture below is Fat Cat resting on the picnic table until…
… just minutes later she hears a bird on the roof of the patio cover!
We enjoyed beautiful sunsets every evening.
We loved this state park, but the weather suddenly turned really hot… I mean like 95+ degrees hot. I didn’t think Colorado got that hot! Anyway, the nice thing about having a house on wheels is that when the weather gets unpleasant we can move on. And move on we did to higher elevations.
I didn’t think Colorado got that hot, either! It really does look like a mash-up of Utah red rock and CO mountains and greens. So different than Rocky Mountain Park. It’s amazing how much the scenery can change in just a few hours!
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Lol! I would’ve been thinking the same thing going through those caves. I love the name Devil’s kitchen, I’m going to name my kitchen that. The sunsets in Colorado look very beautiful (gorgeous pics!). Looks like you guys had a great time exploring.
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