Hiking the Monument

The Colorado National Monument rises over 2,000 feet above the Colorado River and provides a grand backdrop to the city of Grand Junction.  The Colorado National Monument consists of 32 square miles of rugged, up and down terrain with towering, brilliantly colored rock.  Yep, school is back in session….a little geography can’t hurt!The Monument

The Monument is part of the greater Colorado Plateau which also embraces geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Arches national parks.  It is a semi-desert landscape and home to a multitude of wildlife such as; mountain lions, mule deer, antelope, bobcats, lizards, and snakes just to name a few.

Folks from around the world travel to this part of Colorado for the hiking and biking availability.  Exploring by trail is a great way to see The Monument, and that’s exactly what Al and I did several times during our month long stay in Grand Junction.The Monument

For the first time visitor, we would recommend starting off with a scenic drive.  Rim Rock Drive offers 23 miles of beautiful views with numerous overlooks along the way.  This road is also very popular with cyclists, my brother being one of them.  The road climbs from the Grand Valley of the Colorado River to the park’s high-country, then winds along the rim of the plateau.  Quite the workout via a bicycle!  I think I’ll stick with a motorized form of transportation….thank you 😎Colorado National Monument

One of my favorite days hiking The Monument was the day we hiked the Devil’s Kitchen trail.  This is an easy 2 mile round trip hike that did require a little agility at the top.  The trail leads to a rock room formed by huge upright boulders.Colorado National Monument

My brother and sister-in-law, who are very familiar with this trail, tagged along as tour guides.  In the above photo, the trail is in the center and our destination are the boulders.  We’ll be climbing up in there.

Colorado National Monument

Al and my brother lead the way!

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

The hike was filled with plenty of laughter, good company, and gorgeous scenery.  This was the perfect hike to get Al and me back on the trails.  We climbed, and climbed, and at times lost sight of the trail, but amongst the four agile hikers, we easily found our way.

Colorado hiking

Hey guys! You think these carved steps are part of the trail? Dah!

hiking

Climbing further up into “Devil’s Kitchen”

Just a little further……

hiking

Follow me!

hiking Colorado

My brother, the gentleman, helps his wife up into the “kitchen”

We hang around at the top taking in the beautiful scenery surrounding us and contemplate “whatever shall we do for lunch”.  With today’s million dollar question answered, we start the hike back to the vehicle.

What goes up, must come down!   😆

With camera in hand and wanting to capture the agile hikers on their descent, I quickly scramble down before the gang.  I had no intention of trying to climb back down the huge boulder that my brother helped pull his wife and me up onto.  Thus, I found, what I thought to be an easier way down.

hiking Colorado

My brother paves his own way!

I quickly scramble down just in time to watch my brother forge his own way.  His wife, in a questioning tone, asks, “Why aren’t you going down the way your mountain goat sister went?  While glancing around and with a slight hesitation he responds, “Oh man, I didn’t see where she went.  I wondered how she made it down so fast”.

hiking Colorado

Interesting moves dear Brother!

Sister-in-law opts to follow MY trail with the aid of her husband.  Al pulls up the rear.  I sure was glad to have started the journey down the trail first so I could capture all of today’s exciting antics.

Hiking Colorado

I’ll follow your mountain goat sister!

We were laughing and teasing my brother on the entire hike back to the vehicle about his trail blazing abilities and he, of course, was a good sport about it.

We really enjoyed this hike and it was exactly what we needed to pique our interest in the trails.  Thanks to my brother and his wife for the tour followed by a fabulous lunch.  Here’s to a lot more fun hikes in our future!

Hiking Colorado

Ooh, Samson…..can I be your Delilah?

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44 thoughts on “Hiking the Monument

  1. Pingback: Photo Challenge: Monument | Live Laugh RV

  2. Pingback: When Things Are Bright and Beautiful | Stories of The Wandering Feet & Mind

    • You are having way to much fun yourselves out east. We need to work up our hiking abilities to keep up with you two. When you’re ready to hit CO we’ll be waiting.

  3. Colorado reminds me so much of Sedona, with its many interesting hikes and beautiful geography. Glad to see you both hitting the trails again! 🙂

    • You’re right, certain parts of CO do resemble Sedona. It feels good to be out hiking again, even though the hikes are short. The goal is to work up slowly so we don’t get injured like our last attempt.

  4. Now I have another blog to be reminded of if I do come over here.
    The scale on that last photo! Wow!
    😆 @ Mountain goat sister. Ahihihi… Love the adventure and side comments.

  5. I can see that there is sooo much of Colorado we haven’t seen..We have never taken our fiver there..That needs to happen in warm months and the next time we take a summer trip I want to go back to Alaska…Does Al have his “old guy” card? (America the Beautiful) Good for 1/2 price camping if you are 62 and older at Army Corps parks, National parks..If not, he can go online and find which parks sell them…The cost is $10 once and it’s good for your lifetime…Just sayin’…maybe he already has it..He certainly qualifies…I KNOW, I KNOW, THAT WAS MEAN…COULDN’T HELP MYSELF 😉

    • Yes, Al got his “Old Farts Card” a couple of years ago in Death Valley….obviously his trophy wife does not qualify, but it just takes one….LOL. Well, for the amount of time and money it takes to go to Alaska, you could sure indulge yourselves in Colorado…..just saying! Alaska has been on our radar as well but we keep flippen back and forth….ya know my dad and all….Do I really want to be so far away? One day at a time – we’re on RV time after all 😀

  6. I was with you every step of the way. Thanks for helping me get some exercise today. I’m going to Google map it and see if it is on our (slightly zig-zag) way back to AZ. If not I’ll look at your great photos again!

    • Yes indeed…..the descent is much more difficult. I’ve learned the hard way to really pay attention and before continuing, contemplate the return.

  7. That looks like a pretty serious hike thru some pretty desolate country. I’m continually amazed at the difference from our eastern mountains.

    • The west is soooo diverse. Once minute you’re among a pine forest and the next a rock desert. There was a time it made me uncomfortable but now….”I’m at home”.

  8. I’ve been to Colorado, camping, but not to the National Monument. Looks like I missed something really special. It seems so unfair that one state should have so much beautiful countryside. Thanks for taking us along on your hike.

    • Most definitely. Just remember….temps can get pretty warm around here during the summer. We went hiking early in the morning. By noon it was 90 degrees. Spring and Summer are a much better time to visit The Monument.

    • Ah….so many places, so little time. Colorado definitely has some must see places to explore at ones leisure. You’ll need to come back for a longer stay!

  9. This is my favorite part of hiking in the mountains, rock scrambling. I love it!!! So glad you got all those fabulous scrambling up and down photos! I love your brother’s way down! I have a few holes in the rear of my shorts from these fun moves. Can’t wait to get back to CO and explore this area. Thanks for taking me along:)

    • I’ve loved all those hikes you guys did while out west. We’re hoping to get in one or two while in Arches at the end of September. I can tell it wouldn’t be difficult to add a few holes to the rear of ones attire if we continue to take such hikes. I’ll try to remember not to wear favorites while shushing down boulders.

  10. Great hike! We did not hit the Monument this summer as the area was too hot. Seems like a good spring or fall destination.

    Metamorphosis Lisa

    • You could spend months exploring around Colorado and merely put a dent in the diverse beauty of this state. Yep hiking down was a lot more challenging than the hike up!

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