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Aztec Ruins

Capulin Mountain

Casa Grande

Chaco Canyon


Craters of the Moon

Devils Tower


El Morro

Fossil Cycad

George Washington Birthplace

Glacier Bay

Gran Quivira



Lewis and Clark Cavern

Montezuma Castle

Muir Woods

Natural Bridges


Petrified Forest


Pipe Spring

Rainbow Bridge

Scotts Bluff

Shoshone Cavern





Yucca House

Glimpses of Our
National Monuments


Monoliths in Colorado National Monument.

This monument, near Grand Junction, Colo., is similar to the well-known Garden of the Gods area at Colorado Springs, only much larger in size and more beautiful and picturesque. The area exhibits magnificent examples of erosion, particularly of lofty monoliths, all highly colored. It was created May 24, 1911, and is 13,749.47 acres in extent.

The monument includes a part of the escarpment rising about 1,000 feet above Grand Valley that is seamed with numerous canyons cutting back miles into Uncompahgre Uplands. In these canyons and along the escarpment are hundreds of sandstone monoliths standing out separately from the main ledges like giant sentinels. One of the largest of these is Independence Rock, 500 feet high, 250 feet long, and 100 feet wide at the base. Surrounding it are many others of nearly equal height. Jefferson Monument, near the mouth of Seven Percent Canyon, is over 400 feet high, almost round, with a diameter of 100 feet at its base. Fisherman's Head, nearly 400 feet high, is surmounted by a colossal, yet vivid, presentation of a human countenance with cap tilted down to the eyes.

The monoliths are not the only features of the monument, as there are numerous caves and passageways which honeycomb the region. Great walls and amphitheaters, petrified wood, dinosaur remains, and evidences of early habitations may also be found in many places. Many deer, elk, and buffalo range in the monument, which, like all the national parks and monuments, is a game sanctuary in which no hunting is permitted,

One of the outstanding features of the monument is the Trail of the Serpent, a scenic highway which affords the visitor a trip from the base to the top of the monument, permitting glimpses of the Devil's Kitchen, Cold Shivers Point, Liberty Cap, Miracle Rock, natural bridges, and other attractions at the extreme south boundary of the monument. From the summit of this highway a magnificent panorama may be had. To the north the majestic range of the Book Cliff Mountains towers in the sky; to the east the most famous of all flat-top mountains, the Grand Mesa, stretches as far as the eye can see; nearer at hand the Colorado River winds and rewinds through the verdant Grand Valley with its countless orchards. At one's feet lies the rugged grandeur of the monument, a veritable forest of towering monoliths brilliantly colored in ever-changing hues of red as becomes its name—the Colorado.

Grand Junction is the principal gateway to the monument, about 8 miles distant, which is reached by automobile road. From this road trails lead to the more scenic sections. Grand Junction is on the main line of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, on highways U. S. 40-S and U. S. 50, the National Roosevelt Midland Trail, the Rainbow Route, and the Pikes Peak Ocean-to-Ocean Highway. These roads are featured in an auto highway booklet issued by the Chamber of Commerce of Grand Junction, entitled "Scenic Highways of America."


Last Modified: Thurs, Oct 19 2000 10:00:00 pm PDT

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