Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Western Colorado

We are finally continuing our road trip again after three months in Denver. We left Denver and
View from our site at Rifle Gap
State Park
headed west on I-70 across the Rockies. This is a grueling drive with a big RV but beautiful (on a nice day). We went as far as Rifle Gap State Park just north of Rifle, CO. This is on the western side of the big mountains. We love the little town of Rifle, terrain around the area and the state park. From this base we did a couple of hikes and just relaxed and enjoyed the great views from our campsite.
Rifle Falls @ Rifle Falls State Park

View from above Rifle Falls
We then moved on to Fruita, CO which is just west of Grand Junction in the Grand Valley. This is a very fertile area along the Colorado River. The main objective here was to see the Colorado National Monument. Including this Monument, there are nine National Parks on the Colorado Plateau - can you name them?

The Colorado National Monument has one road that goes from end-to-end for a sensational 23 mile drive. The vista views are amazing with a lot of great rock formations and beautiful colors like the other National Parks on the plateau (have you named them yet?). It is like driving along a very small version of the Grand Canyon (oops, I gave one away). One day I hiked the Monument Canyon Trail and it was a great hike (don't do the Wedding Canyon hike due to very poor trail conditions for the difficulty). If you are ever out here add this stop to your trip plans. It is very easy to get to right off of I-70.

View on road in Colorado National

Independence Monument

A view from Otto's Trail

More formations

Independence Monument from the
the other angle
Coke Ovens

View from Book shelf vista
Ute Canyon

View of monuments from Monument
Canyon trail
Answer to the Colorado Plateau
quiz. Plus, I have to believe that
Monument Valley is on it as well. It is
not a National Park because it is owned and
operated by the Navajo Nation

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