Most of Colorado National Monument rises more than 2,000 feet above the Grand Valley of the Colorado River. Situated at the edge of the Uncompahgre Uplift, the park is part of the greater Colorado Plateau, which also embraces such geologic wonders as Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Arches national parks. It is a semi-desert land of pinyon pines and junipers, ravens and jays, desert bighorns and coyotes. Magnificent views from highland trails and the Rim Rock Drive stretch from the colorful geology of sheer-walled canyons and fascinating rock sculptures to the distant Colorado River valley, the purple-gray Book Cliffs, and the huge flat-topped mountain called Grand Mesa. Science done in the park provides insight into how these interconnected elements function as a system.
Last updated: April 7, 2022