Rim Rock Drive is OPEN - Visitor Center is OPEN 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rim Rock Drive is OPEN Be on the lookout for Desert Bighorn Sheep along Rim Rock Drive. There also may be minor traffic delays near the East Entrance over the coming weeks. Watch for construction flaggers on the roadway.
West Hill of Rim Rock Drive Temporarily Closed March 15
Contact: Lisa Eckert, 970-858-3617 ext 300
Due to public safety concerns, Colorado National Monument will temporarily close a four mile section of Rim Rock Drive along the west hill to all traffic between the West Entrance Station to the campground turnoff near the Visitor Center on Thursday, March 15, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This closure will allow work crews to safely bring down a large rock slab of approximately 3 cubic yards which overhangs the uphill entrance to Tunnel #2 on the west hill. This rock slab recently developed new and widening cracks which previously had been stabilized by injections of polyurethane resin in 2007. Due to the unpredictable nature of rockfall, including the size and amount of material that may be brought down; motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians will be restricted from the closure section throughout the duration of the project.
Visitors will be able to access the Monument through the East Entrance station and continue to travel 19 miles along Rim Rock Drive throughout the duration of the project. Motorists and bicyclists will need to plan for an out and back trip. The turnaround point will be at the Visitor Center complex.
During this closure, all Glade Park motorized traffic will be encouraged to use the east entrance to access DS Road or 16 1/2 Road. Glade Park commuters who normally access Rim Rock Drive via 16 ½ Road will not have access to the West Entrance during the duration of the closure.
"We know this closure will disrupt many local and out-of-town visitor travel plans for the day but the safety of the public and staff is always our top priority. This rock slab has the potential to come down on its own and we need to be proactive and remove it before that happens," says Superintendent Lisa Eckert. "Unfortunately we won't know exactly how long it's going to take to complete this work until it begins. Once we remove the slab from the hillside we will have more information on what remains behind it. That debris may also need to be addressed."
The public is invited to visit the park's website regularly at www.nps.gov/colm for the latest updates and changes or call the park offices at 970-858-3617 ext. 300. Information will also be available at the park's entry stations.
Thank you for your patience. Your safety is our prime concern.
Did You Know?
Independence Monument is all that remains of a continuous ridge that once formed a wall between Monument and Wedding Canyons. A cap of durable Kayenta rock has protected this picturesque 450 feet (137 meters) high monolith from the relentless erosion that carried away the surrounding rock.