Colorado National Monument – A Monumental Picnic Spot

What You Expect: Colorado National Monument

You are munching on fried chicken and potato salad at a picnic table with a wonderful view of Devil’s Kitchen when you look up and see a desert bighorn sheep across the canyon. This is the kind of thing you could expect in the Colorado National Monument.

Established in 1911, the Monument covers over 20,000 acres and is full of canyons and sheer cliff faces. Views of the Grand Valley are spectacular and look different at different times of the day. It is a great place for a picnic any time of year since the park is open all year long.

Devil’s Kitchen and Saddlehorn

The two principle picnic Locations are Devil’s Kitchen, which is near the east entrance, and Saddlehorn, which is not far from the Visitor Center. Both have tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, drinking fountains and a garbage/recycling area. Devil’s Kitchen has shelters over tables for shade while Saddlehorn does not. Saddlehorn and Devil’s Kitchen have views that make choosing either one worth going to the park for no other reason.

Image of Colorado National Monument entrance

Colorado National Monument entrance

In addition to the great views, the Colorado National Monument has much to offer. Learn the history and wildlife of the area in the Visitors’ Center. You can also get information about hiking or bike trails and rock climbing. You can join a ranger tour and take photographs of the views of the canyons, valleys and wildlife.  Children can become Junior Rangers and join in special activities just for them. The Visitors’ Center has a bookstore where books about the area’s history, activities and wildlife can be purchased.

A Place For Your Event

Colorado National Monument is a good place for large events such as family reunions, company picnics and weddings. Reservations and fees are required for such events so be sure to call well in advance to reserve your choice of available spots. As this is a state park, there are fees to enter. There is an entry fee: the pass you get for the entry fee is good for seven days so if you want to come back during that period of time, you won’t have to pay the entry fee again.

Visitors from out of the area have many options for lodging in the nearby towns of Fruita and Grand Junction. For those who enjoy camping,the overnight camping fees are very reasonable. The park does not have any place to buy food but Fruita and Grand Junction have convenient stores to buy food and any other supplies that may be needed.

Gorgeous views, entertaining wildlife and interesting history make this a great place for a full day of fun, highlighted with a delicious picnic lunch.

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