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Monument Canyon Trail

MODERATE 118 reviews

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

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
27 days ago

Great views early November

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

This is my favorite trail in the area! Whether you do the loop (which I love and suggests to go wedding canyon to the monument and then monument canyon back to the car) or the monument trail to rim rock drive (I have done both) you will get nothing but great views. Also saw big horned sheep every time I’ve been out there!

Monument Canyon Trail almost 13 mile hike

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

6 months ago

one of my favorite hikes!! Try to do this hike about 4 times in the season.

hiking
no shade
rocky
7 months ago

Great trail, I started around 1130 and should have gone earlier. No shade and no water so bring plenty and don’t forget the sunscreen! The hike from Lower TH to Upper TH is much more strenuous, it’s almost 85% downhill on the way back.

hiking
7 months ago

I had two devices, neither of which recorded properly. This was a great trail that was a moderate difficulty hike. It was a 5 mile loop but could be done as an out and back. We went up Monument Canyon and down Wedding Canyon. Wedding Canyon is unimproved and has some pretty steep sections. I’m glad we came down wedding canyon but if you have bad knees I’d avoid Wedding Canyon altogether and stick to an up and back of Monument.

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome trail. I could only hike a part of it due to time but would love to come back and do the whole thing. It’s so quiet here this time of year so you really have the trail to yourself for the most part. Perfect weather too!

hiking
Wed Oct 24 2018

Did the shorter Wedding Canyon > Lower Monument Trail loop (about 5 miles) and can't wait to go back and explore more. Still pretty warm even when technically the temp wasn't far above 70° but the trail was relatively easy (lots of young families out there). The trail had pretty heavy traffic in spots, so I'll be interested to see if it's as busy on the more challenging trails.

Sun Oct 21 2018

Best hikes ever !

Sat Oct 20 2018

Great hike. Boring beginnings, but once you’re in the canyon, everything is gorgeous. Saw a large herd of sheep. Well marked and easily managed.

hiking
Sat Oct 20 2018

10/20/2018 - Hiked the main trail plus the Coke Oven side trail and a bit of the back side of Independence Monument, about 13.5 miles total. Trail and scenery is quite nice and the day was perfectly blue sky, not one cloud to be seen.

hiking
Sun Sep 16 2018

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
Tue Aug 14 2018

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
Sun Aug 05 2018

Sat Jul 21 2018

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.

Tue Apr 03 2018

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

hiking
Thu Feb 22 2018

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
Tue Feb 13 2018

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

hiking
Wed Oct 25 2017

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.

Tue Oct 24 2017

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

hiking
Sat Jul 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
Sun 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.

Wed Apr 05 2017

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

hiking
Mon Mar 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
Mon Mar 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.

Sun Mar 12 2017

great hike

hiking
Fri Mar 10 2017

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

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