|Colorado National Monument
The Monument is a fine area of desert climbing in Colorado. Just south of Grand Junction and Fruita, it offers many types of climbing found in Utah such as towers, splitter cracks, and soft Wingate & Entrada sandstone. The main attractions here are Independence Monument, a 400 foot tower; Sentinel Spire; and some other spires and pedestals. Some nice one-pitch routes line the canyon walls on the approach to Independence Monument. Look for many other multi-pitch routes around the entire park.
The best climbing season is fall through spring, as summers are generally too hot. Winters can be quite cold, but on a sunny day, you and the rock will warm up--Fruita is at a lower elevation than most of Colorado at about 4,500 feet, so it stays warmer because of that, too.
Camping is available along the Rim Rock drive within the park, but it is $10/night/site and includes a picnic table, grill, plus water and showers are available. You may also camp just South of Fruita on CO Hwy 340 at the State Park area, which is also $10/night. If you want to go cheap, turn West at the Horsetooth Public Lands sign about a half mile South of I-70 and follow this road until it turns into BLM property. It's not the nicest area, but it's free.
Another camping option is east of the park boundary in Rattlesnake Canyon or Black Ridge. From the Fruita entrance, go about 7 miles past the visitor center and take a right (east) at a Y in the road. Once you're outside of the park, camping is wide open and free.
To get to Fruita, take I-70 toward Grand Junction--Fruita is about 9mi. West of GJ. Exit I-70 South onto CO Hwy 340 and take this to the appropriate entrance depending on what rock you plan to climb.
161 Total Routes
['4 Stars',20],['3 Stars',61],['2 Stars',50],['1 Star',22],['Bomb',3]
Browse More Classics in Colorado National Monument
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Colorado National Monument:
Featured Route For Colorado National Monument
Ribbed Buttress 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
: Grand Junction area
: ... : Fruita Canyon
This is one of gems around here, short approach, good moves, and good adventurous climbing. It is definitely a must do. P1: Solo a short perfect hands crack (5.8) to an alcove at the base of a large chimney (you can avoid this pitch by climbing a ramp and entering this alcove from the side but it is WAY sketchy!).P2: Climb a long pitch up the semi-rotten chimney past a few fixed anchors catch a rest and then fire up the fingers in the right-facing chimney on better rock to a hanging belay. 5.1...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for Colorado National Monument
Latest Regional Forum Messages
|By Lee Dyer|
Mar 14, 2002
The monument offers some of the best attributes of climbing: adventure, questionable rock, cracks, occasional sections of solid rock, solitude (unless you climb Otto's Route), super views, and towers, towers, towers....
|By Shawn Shannon|
From: Everett, WA
Mar 17, 2003
Is climbing available here anytime of the year or are there times it's too wet? (Basically, I want to go in a week and was determining if it was worth it) thanks....
|By Tom Dansby|
Jul 27, 2003
CMN for novices
The 1st area described above has some good areas for novice climbers. About 30 yards after leaving the fence on the right side of the trail, there are 3 top rope areas. Just west of these is an outcropping with Arches-like sandstone that might make a decent beginner's climb. 50 yards beyond this is the Elephant Head Rock with several possible TR or trad climbs. Another 30-50 yards up the trail takes you to the prominent, right-facing dihedral, bolted area described elsewhere on this site.
|By Jesse Zacher|
From: Grand Junction, Co
Jul 20, 2006
So much climbing! Every cliff band or tower you scout out and look has anchors. So many quality climbs. Hot during the summer but a good temp during the winter. You never see anyone when you climb anything but Lower Monument Slabs and Otto's Route.
|By Buck Dooley|
Sep 5, 2008
When you are exiting through the Fuiduh Ranger's Station, there is a route visible from Balanced Rock on the west side of the canyon. There is a ten or twelve foot arch at the top with some juniper growing in it... anyone have any information for it? I looked in the Fruita Canyon section, but could find no mention of this route.
Many thanks in advance.
Sep 13, 2008
You're probably talking about "Midnight Rider". 2 pitches. Bring your cowboy boots and your big guns.
Jun 9, 2009
Grand Junction is Awesome!!!!
45 minutes from rifle gap, about an hr.+ from Moab, 20 minutes from Unaweep canyon, the metamorphic boulders up by liberty cap. what more could you want?