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.
This signed trailhead sits on the park’s main road (Rim Rock Drive) roughly 7 miles from the western entrance of the park.
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.
This is a description of the trail from the upper trailhead on Rim Rock Road to the lower trailhead on Fawn Lane.
|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.
Below you, walls drop 650 vertical feet to the bottom of the canyon. The trail twists and turns going down the walls.
View of the canyon half way down the walls.
A closer view of the Coke Ovens.
After 1.1 miles, the trail reaches the bottom of the canyon and heads east at the base of a wall.
Looking up the other branches of the canyon.
Continuing down the trail.
Kissing Couple can now be seen.
|Kissing Couple |
|Kissing Couple Kissing Couple
Independence Monument can now be seen. From this angle, it appears broad.
Looking back at Kissing Couple.
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.
The trail continues downhill. The city of Grand Junction with Grand Mesa rising above it comes to view.
Looking back at Independence Monument.
|Independence Monumet |
Interesting rock near the trail.
Looking back up the 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