Colorado National Monument

66 Pictures: 1-20 , 20-40 , 40-60 , 60-66

Visitor Center Parking LotVisitor Center Parking Lot (09/19/2002) A full view of the Entrada formation outside the visitor center.

Little Park Preserve Management AreaLittle Park Preserve Management Area (09/19/2002) The Little Park Preserve is on the road between Grand Junction and the Colorado Monument. It is a trail head for the Taheguache Trail that runs for 142 Miles between Grand Junction and Montrose.

Colorado MonumentColorado Monument (09/19/2002) A hazy picture of the upper reaches of the Colorado National Monument.

Cliffs Near East EntranceCliffs Near East Entrance (09/19/2002) Cliffs building up to the east entrance of the park. These would all be fairly young deposits.

East EntranceEast Entrance (09/19/2002)

Colorful ViewColorful View (09/19/2002) This view from the east end of the park gives you a feel for the different colors of the sandstone layers in the park.

Cold Shivers PointCold Shivers Point (09/19/2002) A rather impressive drop from Cold Shivers point.

Pool of WaterPool of Water (09/19/2002) Water collects in the pools on top of the Kayenta Sandstone. They give evidence of a recent rain, and a drink for the critters living in the upper part of the park.

Caynon in a CanyonCaynon in a Canyon (09/19/2002) We are standing on Kayenta Standstone. The thick cliffs are Wingate. There is a week Chinle formation under the Wingate. The Canyon in the Canyon is now trying to cut through hard precambrian rock.

Canyon in a CanyonCanyon in a Canyon (09/19/2002) The Canyons form this U shape because the thick softw Wingate layers tend to shear off verticly and quickly erode. The botton of this canyon is a harder precambrian rock

Wingate SandstoneWingate Sandstone (09/19/2002) The top of the cliff is a thin layer of kayenta standstone. The Wingate Sandstone tends to erode in these thick verticle cliffs.

Wingate WallWingate Wall (09/19/2002) A wall made of Wingate Sandstone.

Utah Canyon TrailUtah Canyon Trail (09/19/2002) Fallen Rock at Utah Canyon Trail demonstrates how the Wingate slips off in slabs and quickly erodes. You can see a balanced rock in the shadows.

Fallen RockFallen Rock (09/19/2002) The Fallen Rock and two balanced rocks.

Highland ViewHighland View (09/19/2002)

Artists PointArtists Point (09/19/2002)

Artists PointArtists Point (09/19/2002)

Standing Rocks at Artists PointStanding Rocks at Artists Point (09/19/2002)

Canyon View from Artists PointCanyon View from Artists Point (09/19/2002)

Canyon WallsCanyon Walls (09/19/2002)

66 Pictures: 1-20 , 20-40 , 40-60 , 60-66

Colorado National Monument sits just to the south of Grand Junction, Colorado on the northern tip of the Uncompahgre Plateau. The park encompasses 23,000 acres.

Due largely to the tireless efforts of John Otto, Colorado National Monument was designated as a National Monument in 1911. The 23 mile Rim Rock Road was build through the park in the 1930s. The drive gives sightseers a wonderful view of grand sandstone towers and cliffs, as well as inspiring views of the Grand Valley below.

Colorado National Monument is open year round. In the summer months they pump water from the valley up to the campggrounds. They close off water to the campground in the winter; So you will need to bring your own water.

These are pictures that we took of Colorado National Monument in September 2002. We drove the Rim Rock Road from the east entrance from Grand Junction to the west entrance at Fruita, camping one night at the Saddlehorn Campground.

Standstone Formations in The
Colorado National Monument
Mancos ShaleLate Cretaceous80MSlippery when wet
Dakota Sandstone   
Burro CanyonEarly Cretaceous115M 
Morrison FormationLate Jurassic150MDinosaur Bones
SummervilleMid Jurassic170M 
Entrada  Arches
Kayenta  Hard surfaced Rim Rock
WingateLate Triassic210MThe large cliffs
Chinle FormationTriassic Bottom of cliffs
Precambrian  Old, extremely hard


Context: Desert

Grand Junction, Colorado (95 pictures) Colorado National Monument is on the northern tip of the Uncompadre Plateau, just south of Grand Junction.

Colorado River (96 pictures) You can view the Colorado River from several places in the park. The River itself runs through the center of the Grand Valley, north of the Monument.

Book Cliffs (5 pictures) Fruita is near the west entrance of Colorado National Monument.

Dinosaur Hill (19 pictures) Dinosaur Hillis near the west entrance to the Park. It is an outcropping of the Morrison Layer and contain the fossilized skeleton of an Allosaurus.

Museum of Western Colorado (15 pictures) On a clear day, you get a good view of the Colorado National Monument from the observation tower at the Museum of Western Colorado in downtown Grand Junction.


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