People visit Colorado National Monument every year to see the red rock canyons, blooming flowers, and diverse wildlife. There’s a lot of ground to cover in Colorado National Monument, which stretches over 20,000 acres of land. The key to seeing the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring views is knowing where to go. Here’s where you can find the best views in Colorado National Monument.
Rim Rock Drive, which is a 23-mile route, is the only paved road that travels through Colorado National Monument. Take the complete route by car, bike, motorcycle, or on foot to see all of the scenic views Rim Rock Drive has to offer. For folks who don’t have time to explore the entire length of this route, head straight to the spot with the best view, which is Artist Point.
Throughout the year, artists set up easels at this viewpoint to paint the canyons, cliffs, and wildlife. In fact, this 6,200-foot viewpoint was named Artist Point to honor these artists and their work. Take one look at the view from there and you will instantly understand what all the fuss is about.
Once you’re done admiring the view at Artist Point, make your way to Coke Ovens Overlook, which is less than a mile away. Standing in this place will give you a perfect view of the Coke Ovens, which are a series of large, rounded pillars. These pillars stand out due to their unique shape and composition. The Coke Ovens are mainly composed of Wingate sandstone, but the caps of the pillars are Kayenta sandstone.
That’s not all you’ll see at Coke Ovens Overlook. You can also view a spectacular scene of Monument Canyon from this point. To get a closer look at the canyon – or the Coke Ovens – take Monument Canyon Trail after leaving this viewpoint.
Experienced climbers can enjoy stunning views from Otto’s Route, which is a climbing trail located on Independence Monument. Otto’s Route was named after John Otto, who was the Monument’s first ranger and one of the first people to climb Independence Monument.
Nothing beats seeing the striking sandstone formations of Monument Canyon from Otto’s Route. However, the 450-foot Independence Monument is not an easy climb, so it’s best to sign up for a guided climb with professionals.
Pitch a tent on Saddlehorn Campground and spend the evening enjoying the incredible views from this campsite. Saddlehorn Campground, which is the only established campsite in Colorado National Monument, is located high above Monument Canyon. From there, you can see panoramic views of beautiful red rock formations and the city of Grand Junction. Plus, the high elevation makes Saddlehorn Campground a great spot for stargazing once the sun sets. This is the perfect place to wind down after a long day of hiking, biking, and exploring Colorado National Monument.