• View from the Canyon Rim Trail. Photo by Jeff Kochevar


    National Monument Colorado

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Visitor Center is OPEN 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily

    Alcove Nature Trail CLOSED for reconstruction until further notice.

  • Traffic delays near the West (Fruita) Entrance on State Highway 340

    Traffic delays on Colorado State Highway 340 (near the west entrance) will occur throughout the month of June. Call the road construction hotline 970-314-5540 for more details.


Manzanita (2)

Manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula)

Other Names: Greenleaf manzanita

Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Description: may grow up to 3 ft tall. Stems are twisted and reddish in appearance. Bright green, oval-shaped leaves are oval-shaped and may grow up to 6 cm long and 4 cm wide. Leaves appear stand up vertically. Droopy clusters of light pink flowers are borne in the spring, with dark brown fruit appearing later.

Range: occurs throughout the western United States from California to Colorado, north to Montana, and south to New Mexico and Arizona. Is not common at Colorado National Monument because it prefers higher elevations.

Did you know: like the famous lodgepole pine of the Yellowstone area, manzanita may depend on fire to propagate efficiently. Because the seeds of this hardy shrub are encased in an extremely hard outer covering, it is difficult for the young manzanita plant to grow. Natural germination and establishment of young plants is therefore sporadic. Fires crack the seed's hard covering, which makes it easier for the young plant to break through the seed covering and establish itself.

Did You Know?

John Otto on a trail with his horse and burro

John Otto's efforts almost a century ago continue to help visitors experience Colorado National Monument. Of the 40 miles of trails available to hikers in the monument, many of them were first built by original park custodian John Otto. More...