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Contact: Arlene Jackson, 970-858-3617 x363
Contact: Mark Davison, 970-858-3617 x312
Fruita, CO – Due to the extra wet winter and early spring storms, staff at Colorado National Monument are expecting more rock fall events than in previous years. The overnight freezing and daytime thawing of water in rock cracks will cause them to split. These rocks tumble down the slopes and often end up on the roads and trails. Most of these rocks vary in size from baseballs to basketballs, however, it is possible for larger rocks or many rocks to fall.
Monument staff attempts to clear the roadway routinely and patrol for this need. However, it may be several hours between patrols as the staff travels from one end of the park to the other. Motorists, bicyclists and hikers should exercise an abundance of caution including:
Slow down when driving around bends in the road. Rocks may have rolled out onto the road.
When hiking near rock walls, move quickly through the area. Don’t take breaks beneath adjacent canyon walls.
If you witness a rock fall or come across a portion of the road or a trail that is blocked by rocks, please call the visitor center at 970-858-3617 (7 days a week 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) Before or after regular visitor center hours, call the Mesa County non-emergency number 970-242-6707. They will relay the information to the monument’s law enforcement staff.
Other safety concerns during this time of year include:
- Icy spots may exist on the road in shaded areas.
- Bicyclists and motorcyclists should use caution as there is sand on the road surface.
- Corkscrew Trail is still closed due to last fall’s rockslide. It is prone to additional rock movement.
- Trails may be muddy and icy in shaded areas. While hiking consider using traction devices on boots.
Winter hours are in effect at Colorado National Monument. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Starting March 16, 2019 the visitor center will be open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For additional information please visit www.nps.gov/colm or call 970-858-3617, ext. 360.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
Last updated: March 8, 2019