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Rediscovering the Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument Sign

I used to spend a lot of time hiking, exploring and photographing in the Colorado National Monument, but over the last few years I’ve found myself spending less and less time there. I guess it’s no surprise that I enjoy exploring new places, though. However, for the first time in a while I actually don’t have any recent photos to submit to the annual Colorado National Monument calendar. I’ve decided that I want to do something about it this year since this amazing park is practically in my backyard! While I’ve spent a lot of time hiking in the backcountry to get to know this part of the Colorado Plateau a little better, I thought it might be nice to hike every single trail in the park again this year to help me reconnect. While there are a few trails in the Monument that I hike almost every year, there are also many that I haven’t been on in a long time and I think it’s time to return.

Diane and I will be starting this journey together with our annual New Years Day hike of the Wedding Canyon Loop today. I’m creating this post to make myself accountable to this goal which will hopefully help motivate me to finish it! We are hoping to hike most of the trails after work during the week (aside from the longer ones) which will help keep our weekends open so we can continue to explore new areas then. Of course, that means we probably won’t really get started going on this list until the days start getting longer in the spring.

Below is a list of all the trails that we plan to hike at some point this year. I will update the list with the completed dates and add links to each Trip Report as we check them off the list!

  • Kodels Canyon (1-13-19)
  • Fruita Dugway
  • Lizard Canyon
  • Alcove Nature Trail (1-6-19)
  • Black Ridge Trail
  • Window Rock Trail
  • Saddlehorn
  • Canyon Rim Trail
  • Otto’s Trail
  • Wedding Canyon Trail (1-1-19)
  • The Island
  • Monument Canyon Trail
  • CCC Trail
  • White Rocks
  • Gold Star Canyon
  • Otto’s Staircase
  • Precambrian Bench Trail (Ute Trail) (3-10-19)
  • Artist’s Point
  • Coke Ovens Trail
  • Mushroom Rock Trail
  • Otto’s Bathtub
  • Liberty Cap Trail
  • Corkscrew Trail ***
  • Ute Canyon Trail
  • Ute Garden Interpretive Trail
  • Red Canyon / Columbus Canyon
  • Serpent’s Trail
  • Devil’s Kitchen
  • No Thoroughfare Canyon
  • Old Gordon Trail
  • Echo Canyon


*** Currently the Corkscrew Trail is closed due to a rock slide that has damaged the trail. Hopefully it will be open again later this year, otherwise we will have to skip this trail this time.


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