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Contact: Joan Anzelmo, 970-858-3617 x300
Contact: Michelle Wheatley, 970-858-3617 x300
Visitation to Colorado National Monument continued a record-breaking pace through December, culminating with an all-time annual visitation high of 714,229 up 9.2 % from last year. The previous record was set in 2005 at 675,543 visitors.
Park Superintendent, Joan Anzelmo, is excited about this upward trend and feels that with the growth in the Grand Valley community the Monument’s visitation numbers will continue to rise.
Anzelmo also attributes increased visitor numbers to the proactive marketing efforts of the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau as well as the State of Colorado Office of Tourism.
The greatest percentage increase in visitation was recorded in October. Hiking use was up 34% for the month of October compared to 2006. The park saw approximately 3,321 more hikers on trails in October from last year. The Lower Monument Canyon, Liberty Cap, Devil’s Kitchen, and Serpent’s Trail saw the majority of the increase in hikers. Annual hiking use was up by 18 %.
The park also saw an increase in other recreational visits including bicycling and rock climbing.
The bulk of the park’s visitation occurs April through October. Total visits to the park during that time were 486,909. The month of July saw the highest number of park visitors with 72,510.
Rim Rock Drive and park visitor center are open year round. Information on visitor center hours, park activities, programs and planning your visit can be found on the park web site at: https://www.nps.gov/colm/
Colorado National Monument’s bookstore operated by the Colorado National Monument Association also experienced a 12 % increase in sales throughout the year. Through operation of the bookstore, the Association raises money to publish interpretive materials and to help fund National Park Service activities and projects in the Monument, as well as outreach activities in the local community.