We finally left southern Utah after almost two months, working our way to Grand Teton National Park, WY. I had planned for us to stay in Utah and head north, but when Chuck and Carla stopped here and said how nice it was, I realized we could spend a little time in Colorado on our way to Wyoming. And as a bonus gas is about 30-40 cents per gallon cheaper than in Utah.
Colorado National Monument is a small park, about 32 square miles, and only 4 miles off I-70, but it is beautiful here. The campground is really more designed for tent camping, although the web site says 40’ RV length limit. We had trouble finding a long enough, level enough site, but we wanted to be on the side with the view, so we finally managed to make one work. Unfortunately they are just pull-offs and close to the road, but luckily it’s not very busy here so it hasn’t been a problem. Jim cringes every time someone drives by since they come so close. We do have a good view from our site, and it’s a nice change seeing the lights in the valley at night.
For $10/night there are no hookups and no dump, but they have real bathrooms (no showers) and water, although not for filling the tank. We stopped at the Colorado Welcome Center at the Fruita exit, the same one you take to get here, and they have a very nice dump station with potable water where we filled up. We will be taking advantage of it when we leave here to use the dump this time. That is a great service to provide. It’s a shame more states don’t have them.
There are lots of trails here, and so far we’ve hiked a couple short ones. Most have views of Monument Canyon and interesting rock formations.
There is one road through the park, paved, about 23 miles long that goes along the rim and comes out at Grand Junction. We rode our bikes along part of it yesterday and it was a great ride. The part we were on was fairly flat, but after 5 miles or so we started climbing and there was no end it sight so we turned back and had a nice fast downhill for a couple miles. And this is what we were looking at along the way. Had to be careful as there are no guardrails and the drop offs are an awful long way down. In fact we found out that Ride The Rockies, a week long bike tour around Colorado, starts tomorrow in Grand Junction, and they will be coming up the Rim Rock Drive. Not a ride for the faint of heart.
It rained today so we went to Grand Junction to do some shopping. It was over a month without a Wal-Mart!