Monument Canyon Trail is a 10.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Junction, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
10.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,807 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Over it's 6.8 miles Monument Canyon gains approximately 1500 feet in elevation, most of that elevation change is divided between the first mile from the upper trail head and the last two miles. Ample opportunity for amazing views and wildlife watching.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked from lower monument via the wedding trail to the upper monument and back. Approx 12 miles round trip. Would highly recommend! Views are incredible, terrain was easily managed by an amateur hiker like me. Start early while it's still cool out (I went 9/16) because it does get pretty warm during day. Bring LOTS of water as well. We did happen to see one big horn sheep too.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice way to see some of CNM's formations up close. Some shade along the trail but not a ton, so lots of water and starting early are musts in August. Unfortunately, not much wildlife our morning. We started at the upper trailhead and went to Independence Monument (~3.5 miles) before turning around and heading back. Note that this trail is ~12 miles round-trip (upper to lower trailhead or vice versa, then back) and not 6.8 or 10.9 as listed here.

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in the valley. I quit often see the big horn sheep in this valley. It always takes a lot longer to do this hike when I stop and watch the sheep.

6 months ago

Do the wedding trail side first as it is a harder trek. It’s a really nice trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Very enjoyable hike. Great views of many of the formations in Colorado National Monument. Most of the trail is very easy. The only difficult part is going up the cliffs up to Rimrock drive but the views of the Coke Ovens are worth it. I saw tons of Bighorn Sheep on the trail. Also, you can turn this trail into a loop by going on the Wedding Canyon trail. It connects back up with the Monument Canyon Trail near Independence Monument.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked this before Thanksgiving dinner. Perfect weather and had it all to ourselves

hiking
11 months ago

great well maintained trail. did the wedding canyon loop came in at 4.69 miles. the wedding canyon trail portion is unimproved but in great shape and easy to follow. a few slippery areas so make sure you wear hiking shoes.

11 months ago

we saw a whole group of Bighorn Sheep and beautiful fall colors on the Cottonwood trees among the towering sandstone cliffs and monuments.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Awesome views. Started early in the morning from the lower trailhead and it took 5.5 hours to the upper trailhead and back to complete. Not much shade and definitely bring enough water. Overall, it was a solid hike.

backpacking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Beautiful and relatively easy trail. Went here instead of Estes park to avoid the snowstorm and was really surprised with how warm and dry it was.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Long trail but so worth it ! Beautiful ! We hiked in the spring and saw many baby mountain goats.

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

Love this trail. We started from the rim. There is a steep drop into the canyon, which proves to be a fun and difficult way to finish off the journey. Besides the beginning (and and), the hike is flat and easy. The canyon walls and monuments are far more spectacular from the ground than they are from the road. If you really want to experience Colorado National Monument, you need to take this hike. It's easy and beautiful.

hiking
Monday, March 13, 2017

Great trail, wildlife was abundant!
Made it from parking lot to Independence Monument in 45 minutes, way back took longer due to taking pics.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

great hike

hiking
Friday, March 10, 2017

Awesome hiked the short version total 5 miles round trip with a great view of Colorado national monument

hiking
Saturday, August 06, 2016

Beautiful rock formations, well kept trail.

hiking
Friday, April 29, 2016

We have hiked this trail dozens of time, being from this area originally. The canyon views are amazing and experiencing the Monument from the base is a completely different experience from those in cars along the canyon rim. NOTE: It gets very hot here in the summer (look for 100+ temps in July), so plan accordingly and hike early if possible.

You will see a lot of wildlife along this trail, so bring a camera! You can also access the trail from below off of Broadway for a much shorter, easier option. However, if you have the legs for it, I suggest taking the route from the top of the canyon for a very rewarding, beautiful red rock experience. Be prepared for a somewhat steep descent into the canyon (which will have to be climbed if you do not leave a car at the bottom). Have fun!

hiking
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fantastic. The views are amazing and we really want to move here!

hiking
Monday, July 06, 2015

Go early, bring plenty of water, and enjoy the fantastic scenery! We spotted lizards, deer, and many different types of birds on our hike.

trail running
Thursday, June 12, 2014

A great technical trail run with nice elevation change. If you're lucky you'll get to see some mountain goats. Absolutely beautiful views.

hiking
Monday, July 08, 2013

Very unique, desert trail. This was my first desert trail, and it was beautiful.

hiking
Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Good views of the monument looking up from the bottom instead of down from the up, and the canyon floor was eeriely beautiful. However, the 600 ft climb out was brutal in 98 degree weather.

hiking
Wednesday, April 04, 2012

We didn't do the entire length of the trail due to time and equipment constraints but we sure enjoyed what we did. It's so beautiful here, one of the best for sure. Since we didn't go very far, we went back up the way we came. This could be pretty difficult for someone who's not accustomed to hiking at all. Be prepared.

hiking
Friday, May 27, 2011

My husband and I hiked this trail in March 2011. The weather was clear and cool - perfect for treking around the Monument. We parked one car at the bottom of the trail and drove up the Fruita side of the Monument, parking at the Upper Monument Canyon Trailhead. The first mile or so of the trail is very steep with alot of switchbacks - If you're attempting this trail as an ascent rathern than a descent, be prepared for an intense climb for the last mile of your trek. Once you get to the bottom of the canyon the trail stretches out for 3 miles or more toward Independence Monument and meanders through some amazing natural features as well as desert plant life. Shortly after you reach Independence Monument the trail begins it's remaining descent and you're rewarded with some awesome views of the Grand Valley in the distance. I LOVE this trail. I've hiked the lower section up to Independence Monument often. That leg of the trail, up and back down, usually takes about 2.5 hours. There are some nesting areas in the rocks along the canyon wall so it's also a great place for bird watching. I've encountered Eagles, Rabbits, Deer and lots of lizards as well as observed ample signs of Mountain Goats in the area, especially near the base of Independence Monument it's self.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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