Directions: This hike starts from the Upper Monument Canyon Trailhead located 3.8 mi east of the Colorado NM Visitor Center on Rim Rock Drive.
This is a wonderful trail and takes you into the heart of Colorado National Monument. For the first mile, you descend down along the high cliff wall to the bottom of Monument Canyon. This part of the hike is steep but phenomenal. Once you reach the canyon floor the next 2.5 miles weaves you through red rock formations including the Kissing Couple and takes you to the base of Independence Monument (the park's main attraction). The hike along the canyon floor is relatively flat and it gets very hot, bring lots of water. Once you reach the monument you can continue for another 2.5 miles to the lower trailhead or head back the way you came. The climb out of the canyon is steep so save some energy.
This hike just may be the best way to experience the grandeur of Colorado National Monument and it is well worth the effort.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP