Monument Canyon Trail

Colorado National Monument, Colorado 81521

Elevation Gain3,917ft
Trailhead Elevation4,717ft
Elevation Min/Max4717/6133ft
Elevation Start/End4717/4717ft

Monument Canyon Trail

Monument Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Redlands, Colorado. It is within Colorado National Monument. It is 5.7 miles long and begins at 4,717 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,917 feet. The Monument Canyon Upper Trailhead parking and the Monument Canyon parking are near the trailhead. The Coke Ovens Overlook viewpoint, Independence Monument, the Coke Ovens Overlook parking, and the Kissing Couple rock can be seen along the trail. There is also a cliff along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Fenceline and Coke Ovens Trail.

Monument Canyon Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Colorado's Incredible Backcountry Trails (Rincon Publishing)
David Day
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"The Monument Canyon Trail is one of many trails that were built in the early 1900s by John Otto, a humble, soft-spoken, some would say eccentric man who once lived in what is now Colorado National Monument. Otto was a recluse who preferred to live alone, often seeming to enjoy the company of his horse more than any human being. Yet in spite of his quaint lifestyle his activism and his passion for the land eventually brought him widespread fame and recognition. Today John Otto is fondly remembered as the founder of Colorado National Monument, and we should be eternally grateful for what he gave us. Had it not been for Otto’s efforts it is doubtful that the ruggedly beautiful Colorado National Monument would still retain the unspoiled natural grandeur it possessed at the turn of the century."
Best Easy Day Hikes Grand Junction and Fruita (Falcon Guides)
Bill Haggerty
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"As the premier hike in the Colorado National Monument, Monument Canyon takes hikers beneath many of the park’s major rock sculptures, where Independence Monument, Kissing Couple, and the Coke Ovens tower overhead. It’s best to leave a vehicle at each end of this hike, and shuttle one vehicle back after the 6-mile trek downhill."
100 Classic Hikes in Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Scott S. Warren
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"Embracing a ruggedly beautiful cross-section of canyons, cliffs, and mesa tops, Colorado National Monument offers some wonderful hiking opportunities within a short drive from Grand Junction. The hike described here follows the Monument Canyon Trail to the base of Independence Monument, the monument’s flagship landform. Along Trail heads east through forests of pinyon pine this descent you might want to stop and take in and Utah juniper. Such an ecosystem is standard the geology of the canyon."
Hiking Colorado's Western Slope (Falcon Guides)
Bill Haggerty
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"The Colorado National Monument is one of the least visited monuments in the United States, yet it’s only minutes from the largest population center in Western Colorado, Grand Junction. Operated by the National Park Service, it rises from the Colorado River on the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau, preserving 20,000 acres of incredible, steep-walled red rock canyons."

Monument Canyon Trail Trip Reports

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Very enjoyable and scenic walk. Very dry and hot in April, so carry lots of water

Monument Canyon Trail Photos

Trail Information

Colorado National Monument
Nearby City
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument, Fruita, CO 81521; (970) 858-3616;
Local Contacts
Colorado National Monument; Colorado National Monument/McInnis Canyons NCA
Local Maps

Trail Log