Welcome to SP!  -
Monument Canyon Trail
Route
Contribute 
 
Geography
Parents 
Routes
 
 

Monument Canyon Trail

 
Monument Canyon Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.07772°N / 108.72815°W

Object Title: Monument Canyon Trail

GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
 - 0 Votes
 

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Apr 22, 2016 / Oct 27, 2017

Object ID: 970389

Hits: 526 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

Monument Canyon Trail starts on Colorado National Monument’s Rim Rock Drive at an elevation of 6130 ft. It immediately begins to twist and turn going down the red walls of the canyon. After 1.1 miles, the trail drops 650 vertical feet to reach the bottom of the canyon. For the next 5.3 miles, the trail meanders at the bottom of the canyon dropping an additional 750 vertical feet to end at Monument Canyon Trailhead in a suburb of the city of Grand Junction. Along the way, the trail gives you good views of some of the park’s most iconic rock formations including Coke Ovens, Kissing Couple and Independence Monument.

See this page for rock climbing and general information about Independence Monument, a 450 ft tall rocky tower.








Getting There

Upper Trailhead:
This signed trailhead sits on the park’s main road (Rim Rock Drive) roughly 7 miles from the western entrance of the park.

Lower Trailhead
From the junction of Monument Road and Route 340 (Broadway) in Grand Junction, drive 7.3 miles west and turn left onto Fawn Lane. Parking area is a short distance at the end of Fawn Lane.

Route Description

This is a description of the trail from the upper trailhead on Rim Rock Road to the lower trailhead on Fawn Lane.

Place
Elevation
Distance
Upper Trailhead
6130 ft
zero miles
Wedding Canyon Junction
5250 ft
3.90 miles
Lower Trailhead
4700 ft
2.50 miles
Total One Way
-
6.40 miles


At the upper trailhead, the rocky formations known as Coke Ovens can be seen.

Coke Ovens
Coke Ovens


Below you, walls drop 650 vertical feet to the bottom of the canyon. The trail twists and turns going down the walls.

Upper parts of trail
 
Monument Canyon
 
Upper parts of the trail
 
Upper parts of the trail
 


View of the canyon half way down the walls.

Monument Canyon
Monument Canyon


More walls.

Upper parts of the trail
 
Upper parts of the trail
 
Upper parts of the trail
 
Upper parts of the trail
 


A closer view of the Coke Ovens.

Coke Ovens
Coke Ovens


After 1.1 miles, the trail reaches the bottom of the canyon and heads east at the base of a wall.

On Monumet Canyon Trail
 
On Monument Canyon Trail
 
On Monument Canyon Trail
 
On Monument Canyon Trail
 

On Monument Canyon Trail
 


Looking up the other branches of the canyon.

Monument Canyon
 


Continuing down the trail.

On Monument Canyon Trail
 
On Monument Canyon Trail
 
On Monument Canyon Trail
 
On Monument Canyon Trail
 


Kissing Couple can now be seen.

Kissing Couple
Kissing Couple
Kissing Couple
Kissing Couple

Kissing Couple
Kissing Couple


Independence Monument can now be seen. From this angle, it appears broad.

Independence Monument
Independence Monument


Looking back at Kissing Couple.

Kissing Couple on the left
Kissing Couple on the left


At the base of Independence Monument the trail reaches the junction with Wedding Canyon Trail. You can go either way to reach the lower trailhead. This description continues down the Monument Canyon Trail.

Independence Monument
Independence Monument


The trail continues downhill. The city of Grand Junction with Grand Mesa rising above it comes to view.

Grand Mesa & the city of Grand Junction
Grand Mesa


Looking back at Independence Monument.

Independence Monument
Independence Monumet
Independence Monument
Independence Monument


Interesting rock near the trail.

On Monument Canyon Trail
 
Grand Mesa & the city of Grand Junction
 



Looking back up the canyon.

Monument Canyon
Monument Canyon


At the end of the canyon, a sign directs you toward a fence at the edge of the park. The trail parallels the fence with homes sitting right on the other side of the fence. After a short distance, the fence goes away and you reach the lower trailhead.

Near lower trailhead
Near lower trailhead

Essential Gear

Hiking boots.

Images

On Monument Canyon TrailIndependence MonumentKissing CoupleKissing CoupleOn Monument Canyon TrailIndependence MonumentOn Monument Canyon Trail
Upper parts of the trailCoke OvensOn Monumet Canyon TrailGrand Mesa & the city of Grand JunctionKissing CoupleGrand Mesa & the city of Grand JunctionMonument Canyon
[ View Gallery - 20 More Images ]