Hiking the Serpent’s Trail

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Today Amanda and I headed out to hike the popular Serpent’s Trail within the Colorado National Monument. The original vehicle entrance to the Monument, this route was once called the “Crookedest Road in the World” and is now on the National Register of Historic Structures.

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According to my GPS, the trail was just under 2 miles one way and there were about 14 switch-backs. From the parking area at the bottom of the trail, it climbed steadily all the way to the top with an elevation gain of about 830 feet. Coming back down was much easier for us 🙂 Here’s a little more info on the trail:

Constructed between 1912 and 1921, Serpents Trail provided the only automobile access to Colorado National Monument until 1937 when the Fruita Canyon portion of Rim Rock Drive opened. Serpents Trail reflects engineering techniques used in the construction of early automobile roads in difficult terrain and was specifically designed to optimize the scenery of the park. John Otto, the original booster of the park’s scenic wonders and the custodian of Colorado National Monument from 1911 to 1927, designed the original route and was involved in its sporadic construction. The project also provided access to the Glade Park region, and local engineers and citizens contributed to its construction and funding.

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The current entrance to the Monument and No Thoroughfare Canyon
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The top end of the trail
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Clouds rolling in over the valley
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Looking down on the Devil’s Kitchen
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