Canyon Rim Trail, Canyon Rim Trailhead - Rear of Visitor Center, Colorado National Monument, Colorado
Canyon Rim Trail - 1.1 miles
Canyon Rim Trailhead - Rear of Visitor Center
|Round-Trip Length:||1.1 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||5,784' - 5,717' (5787' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-67' net loss (+167' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Canyon Rim Trail - 1.1 Miles Round-Trip
The Canyon Rim Trail provides incredible views across Wedding Canyon, Monument Canyon and red-rock spires that distinguish Colorado National Monument. The trail leaves from the back door of the Visitor's Center and descends some stairs before arriving at the official trail sign.
Located at the trailhead is a fenced in overlook with views of Wedding Canyon, the Pipe Organ and Praying Hands rock formations, as well as several other spectacular sandstone 'monuments'. Be sure to ask for an interpretive pamphlet at the Visitor's Center before heading out on this easy trail. The pamphlet will help you identify the formations, making the trail a bit more fun.
The trail meanders through colorful Entrada sandstone, riding the canyon rim for about .5 miles. It dead-ends at an official overlook with several interpretive signs that explain the history of the area and geology of the formations. Spend some time relaxing at the overlook and make your way back to the Visitor's Center for a peaceful roundtrip walkabout.
- This is a very popular trail due to its proximity to the Visitor's Center,. Be prepared to share the overlook areas with other hikers.
- Pets are not permitted on any trail in Colorado National Monument. Never leave pets in unattended vehicles.
- Mountain bikes are not allowed on any trails in Colorado National Monument.
- This trail can be connected with the Window Rock Trail for a slightly longer out and back.
- Remember to ask for an interpretive pamphlet at the Visitor's Center before heading out on the Canyon Rim Trail
- The Canyon Rim Trail is situated on the Kayenta sandstone formation, which is more resistant than the pink'ish, eroding Entrada sandstone found along the trail.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- The Saddlehorn Campground is located next to the Saddlehorn Visitor Center, four miles from the west entrance.
- $20 per site per night (in addition to the entrance fee). $10 per site per night discount for holders of Inter-agency Senior or Inter-agency Access Passes.
- There are 80 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis with a self-registration kiosk at the entrance. Sites accommodate tents and RVs, with some pull-through sites (length limit is 40').
- Each site includes a picnic table and charcoal-only grill. Wood fires are not permitted anywhere in the monument. There are no electric hookups or showers. Restrooms have flush toilets and water available during the summer.
- 7 person per site limit, 3 tents per site, and two 2 vehicles per site. Generator use is prohibited from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
- Backcountry Camping Permits are required in Colorado National Monument. Permits are free. The permit must be in your possession while traveling in the backcountry.
- Group size is limited to 7 people.
- Campers must camp 1/4 mile or more from any road or developed facility and 150' from any trail. Camping is not permitted in streambeds.
- Fires are not permitted, with the exception of gas or alcohol camp stoves.
- Pets, bicycles, motorized equipment, and devices such as radios, generators, etc., are not allowed in the backcountry.
- In any calendar year, backcountry campers are limited to 14 overnight stays, whether accrued consecutively or in any combination of separate visits. Single trips are limited to 7 nights.
- Water is not available in the backcountry, even during the spring runoff. Springs, streams, and pools may contain harmful substances like selenium or bacteria like Giardia.
Rules and Regulations
Private, non-commercial vehicle: $10
Individual (hiker, bicyclist ): $5
Fees are good for seven consecutive days. Fees apply to persons 16 years and older.
Directions to Trailhead
The Canyon Rim Trail is located directly behind the Visitor's Center off of Rim Rock Road. From the west entrance, drive 4.4 miles on Rim Rock Road. Park at the Visitor's Center lot on the left.
East Entrance from Denver Grand Junction: Take Highway I-70 to Grand Junction, and take Exit 31 (Horizon Drive). Follow signs through Grand Junction to the east entrance.
West Entrance from Denver to Fruita: Take Highway I-70 to Exit 19 (Fruita) and go south on Highway 340 to the west entrance, which is approximately four miles from Fruita.
East Entrance From Utah to Grand Junction: Take Highway I-70 to Grand Junction, and take Exit 31 (Horizon Drive). Follow signs through Grand Junction to the east entrance.
West Entrance from Utah to Fruita: Take Highway I-70 to Exit 19 (Fruita) and go south on Highway 340 to the west entrance, which is approximately four miles from Fruita.
Colorado National Monument
Fruita, CO 81521-0001