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Colorado National Monument

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Devil's Kitchen 
Fruita Canyon 
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Colorado National Monument Rock Climbing 

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Location: 39.1016, -108.7346 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 167,382
Administrators: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001  with updates from JuliaMV

76° | 58°

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Saw this little guy the other day in the 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 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.

Getting There 

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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.1 miles from here

177 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',19],['3 Stars',74],['2 Stars',51],['1 Star',26],['Bomb',4]

Classic Climbing Routes in Colorado National Monument

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Colorado National Monument:
Luhr's Route aka Right Dihedral   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Monument Canyon
Otto's Route   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 5 pitches, 400'   Independence Monument
Left Dihedral aka Dihedral 1 aka First Dihedral   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   Monument Canyon
Short, Cupped Hands   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Tiara Rado
Steppin' On it   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 85'   Liberty Cap
Circle, Square, and the Triangle   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   Monument Canyon
Dirty Martini   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Tiara Rado
100' Hands   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Tiara Rado
Fast Draw   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches   Sentinel Spire
Super Crack of the Monument   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Red Canyon : Supercrack Buttress
F/S   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Liberty Cap
Long Dong Wall (aka Bell Tower)   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 5 pitches   Kissing Couple area : Kissing Couple
Cool Breeze   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   Liberty Cap
Desert Solitaire   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches, 350'   Monument Canyon
Cirqus Voltaire   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Gold Star Canyon
Never Cry Wolf   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Liberty Cap
Medicine Man   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 4 pitches   Sentinel Spire
Flapper   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Tiara Rado
Osiris   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   Liberty Cap
Get A Life   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 5 pitches, 460'   Monument Canyon
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Colorado National Monument

Featured Route For Colorado National Monument
Rock Climbing Photo: Jesse sinkin' the jams.

F/S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  Colorado : Grand Junction Area : ... : Liberty Cap
Start off with two hand cracks, then start cranking up steep hand jams till you surmount a bulge. Then it turns into loose fingers and ledges. It is a great climb that takes some endurance....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Colorado National Monument Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: An early morning view facing NW from the Saddlehor...
BETA PHOTO: An early morning view facing NW from the Saddlehor...
Rock Climbing Photo: Just after sunrise at The Monument, October 2010.
Just after sunrise at The Monument, October 2010.
Rock Climbing Photo: Old photo.
Old photo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tower huntin' in The Monument.
Tower huntin' in The Monument.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rosemary Jennings on Independence Monument.
Rosemary Jennings on Independence Monument.
Rock Climbing Photo: Independence Monument.
Independence Monument.
Rock Climbing Photo: L to R: Wino Tower, The Titan, and Hummingbird Spi...
L to R: Wino Tower, The Titan, and Hummingbird Spi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Colorado National Monument (photo taken from Otto'...
Colorado National Monument (photo taken from Otto'...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ranger station is just out of frame to the left.  ...
Ranger station is just out of frame to the left. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cactus.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Monument at sunrise from the summit of Grand V...
The Monument at sunrise from the summit of Grand V...

Comments on Colorado National Monument Add Comment
Show which comments
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.
By Airbiscuit
Sep 13, 2008
You're probably talking about "Midnight Rider". 2 pitches. Bring your cowboy boots and your big guns.
By Hoez
From: Uganda
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?

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