(Fruita to Grand Junction CO)
A place I wanted to visit, for a long time, was the Colorado National Monument. The Visitor Center explained the terrain, the geology, how the road was built, and the features of the park. The drive in was a rather steep incline with several switchbacks, rising over 2,000 feet above the valley to a summit of 6,479ft.
Although there were many trails to hike, I just drove the main Rim Rock road and stopped at the viewpoints to see the deep canyons, tall cliffs, and varied rock formations. Each named overlook had a parking lot, and special features to see.
Picnic areas, cycling, campground, backcountry hiking and camping (with permit) were available. Wildlife like bobcats, mule deer, mountain lions, coyotes, desert bighorns, and smaller critters live within the park. Of course, to have a chance of seeing any of those would have required hiking a backcountry trail.
I didn’t have a favorite overlook, as they were all pretty amazing. These shots are only a few of the views observed. Being down in the canyons would have shown how massive were these cliffs. It really was a very impressive place.
After my drive through the monument, I headed for higher elevation in order to get cooler camping options. I found a pretty nice boondocking spot south of Blue Mesa Reservoir at 8,924ft.
Camp: Carpenter Ridge-BLM boondock
Scene: Canyons, rock formations