Impressive views of canyons and the surrounding landscape are found throughout Colorado National Monument and provide visitors with outstanding examples of the park’s geology. Long, clear vistas combined with the extraordinary natural scenery enhance and accentuate the visitor's enjoyment of the natural resources of Colorado National Monument and the surrounding region. Overlooks and visitor facilities have been provided for visitors specifically for this purpose.
However, in some areas, views from the Rim Rock Drive are restricted by road cuts, natural rock outcrops and the presence of pinyon-juniper forest. Increasingly, human intrusions such as residential developments are visible on the boundary of the monument and from some viewpoints within the monument. Utility lines are visible from some parts of the monument, and National Park Service (NPS) owned telephone lines and park facilities provide visitors and staff necessary telephone and electrical services. Communication antennas and electric transmissions lines outside of the monument on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands are also visible from portions of the Rim Rock Drive and other points within the monument.
In the winter months visitors to the monument may have their view of the valley impaired by the presence of inversions. Inversions are characterized by cold, heavy air trapped near the valley surface by warmer, lighter air above. In some cases inversions cause a build-up of particulates by reducing air-flow thus limiting the necessary air mixing that provides unobstructed views.
Regardless of the impacts of human developments near the park, Colorado National Monument provides many spectacular and breathtaking views for the out of town visitor as well as the local Grand Valley resident to enjoy.
Last updated: February 24, 2015