Login with Facebook
Colorado National Monument

Select Area...
Devil's Kitchen 
Fruita Canyon 
Gold Star Canyon 
Grand View Spire 
Gypsies, The 
Independence Monument 
Kissing Couple area 
Liberty Cap 
Metamorphic Canyon 
Monument Canyon 
No Thoroughfare Canyon 
Other areas 
Red Canyon 
Sentinel Spire 
Terra Tower Buttress 
Tiara Rado 
Ute Canyon 

Colorado National Monument  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.1016, -108.7346 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 655,971
Administrators: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Brad Edwards, Nick Reecy, Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
77° | 41°
78° | 43°
67° | 34°
Partly Cloudy
57° | 30°
55° | 28°
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: An early morning view facing NW from the Saddlehor...


The Monument is a fine area of desert climbing in Colorado. Just south of Grand Junction and Fruita, it offers many types of climbing found in Utah such as towers, splitter cracks, and soft Wingate & Entrada sandstone. The main attractions here are Independence Monument, a 400 foot tower; Sentinel Spire; and some other spires and pedestals. Some nice one-pitch routes line the canyon walls on the approach to Independence Monument. Look for many other multi-pitch routes around the entire park.

The best climbing season is fall through spring, as summers are generally too hot. Winters can be quite cold, but on a sunny day, you and the rock will warm up--Fruita is at a lower elevation than most of Colorado at about 4,500 feet, so it stays warmer because of that, too.

Camping is available along the Rim Rock drive within the park, but it is $10/night/site and includes a picnic table, grill, plus water and showers are available. You may also camp just South of Fruita on CO Hwy 340 at the State Park area, which is also $10/night. If you want to go cheap, turn West at the Horsetooth Public Lands sign about a half mile South of I-70 and follow this road until it turns into BLM property. It's not the nicest area, but it's free.

Another camping option is east of the park boundary in Rattlesnake Canyon or Black Ridge. From the Fruita entrance, go about 7 miles past the visitor center and take a right (east) at a Y in the road. Once you're outside of the park, camping is wide open and free.

Getting There 

To get to Fruita, take I-70 toward Grand Junction--Fruita is about 9mi. West of GJ. Exit I-70 South onto CO Hwy 340 and take this to the appropriate entrance depending on what rock you plan to climb.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.1 miles from here

172 Total Routes

['4 Stars',18],['3 Stars',67],['2 Stars',52],['1 Star',27],['Bomb',3]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Colorado National Monument:
Otto's Route   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Chipped, 5 pitches, 400'   Independence Monument
Steppin' On it   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 85'   Liberty Cap
100' Hands   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Tiara Rado
Fast Draw   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches   Sentinel Spire
Egypt Rock - The Revolution Will Not be Televised   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Trad, 4 pitches, 300'   Monument Canyon
Super Crack of the Monument   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Red Canyon : Supercrack Buttress
Wizard I   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Monument Canyon
Incredible Handcrack of the Monument   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 2 pitches   Tiara Rado
Long Dong Wall (aka Bell Tower)   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 5 pitches   Kissing Couple area : Kissing Couple
Desert Solitaire   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches, 350'   Monument Canyon
Cool Breeze   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   Liberty Cap
Sundial Dihedral   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches, 400'   Independence Monument
99 Feet of Joy   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 99'   Ute Canyon : Fallen Rock Climbs
Cirqus Voltaire   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Gold Star Canyon
Soren Roof   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Tiara Rado
Never Cry Wolf   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Liberty Cap
Flapper   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Tiara Rado
Osiris   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   Liberty Cap
Medicine Man   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, 4 pitches   Sentinel Spire
Get A Life   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 5 pitches, 460'   Monument Canyon
Browse More Classics in Colorado National Monument

Featured Route For Colorado National Monument
Steppin' On It.

Steppin' On it 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  CO : Grand Junction Area : ... : Liberty Cap
Move up some loose Chinle to gain some loose rock. Step lightly to then stuff big hands into a crack that goes in a corner till you hit a roof. Reach to your left and jam the continuous crack which turns is in a left facing dihedral....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Colorado National Monument Slideshow Add Photo
Saw this little guy the other day in the Monument....
Saw this little guy the other day in the Monument....
Old photo.
Old photo.
Tower huntin' in The Monument.
Tower huntin' in The Monument.
The Monument at sunrise from the summit of Grand V...
The Monument at sunrise from the summit of Grand V...
Colorado National Monument (photo taken from Otto'...
Colorado National Monument (photo taken from Otto'...
L to R: Wino Tower, The Titan, and Hummingbird Spi...
L to R: Wino Tower, The Titan, and Hummingbird Spi...
Ranger station is just out of frame to the left.  ...
Ranger station is just out of frame to the left. ...
Independence Monument.
Independence Monument.

Comments on Colorado National Monument Add Comment
Show which comments
By Lee Dyer
Mar 14, 2002
The monument offers some of the best attributes of climbing: adventure, questionable rock, cracks, occasional sections of solid rock, solitude (unless you climb Otto's Route), super views, and towers, towers, towers....
By Shawn Shannon
From: Everett, WA
Mar 17, 2003
Is climbing available here anytime of the year or are there times it's too wet? (Basically, I want to go in a week and was determining if it was worth it) thanks....
By Tom Dansby
Jul 27, 2003
CMN for novices

The 1st area described above has some good areas for novice climbers. About 30 yards after leaving the fence on the right side of the trail, there are 3 top rope areas. Just west of these is an outcropping with Arches-like sandstone that might make a decent beginner's climb. 50 yards beyond this is the Elephant Head Rock with several possible TR or trad climbs. Another 30-50 yards up the trail takes you to the prominent, right-facing dihedral, bolted area described elsewhere on this site.
By Jesse Zacher
From: Grand Junction, Co
Jul 20, 2006
So much climbing! Every cliff band or tower you scout out and look has anchors. So many quality climbs. Hot during the summer but a good temp during the winter. You never see anyone when you climb anything but Lower Monument Slabs and Otto's Route.
By Buck Dooley
Sep 5, 2008
When you are exiting through the Fuiduh Ranger's Station, there is a route visible from Balanced Rock on the west side of the canyon. There is a ten or twelve foot arch at the top with some juniper growing in it... anyone have any information for it? I looked in the Fruita Canyon section, but could find no mention of this route.

Many thanks in advance.
By Airbiscuit
Sep 13, 2008
You're probably talking about "Midnight Rider". 2 pitches. Bring your cowboy boots and your big guns.
By Hoez
From: Uganda
Jun 9, 2009
Grand Junction is Awesome!!!!
45 minutes from rifle gap, about an hr.+ from Moab, 20 minutes from Unaweep canyon, the metamorphic boulders up by liberty cap. what more could you want?
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
and Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!