Colorado National Monument Rock Climbing
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RAIN, WET ROCK: The sandstone in the Colorado National Monument is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Gear placement in wet sandstone also poses a safety concern. Please wait for the rock to dry prior to climbing.
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 20/site/night + park entry fee ($10, without a State Parks Pass, free with a pass) 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 $18/tent site + $7 park entry fee. 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.
Camping is also available in the North Fruita Desert BLM campground for $10/night in the campground (dispersed camping is 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.
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