Published: October 5th 2007September 13th 2007
My jammed packed mini vacation has begun. Have a conference next week in Denver, so flew in a few days early to drive to Utah and see some of its famous national parks. On the way, I stopped at the Colorado National Monument. Ended up renting a Jeep Liberty which is a first for me and fit the occasion.
The Colorado National Monument has a 23 mile scenic drive (Rim Rock Drive) with some great views of the canyons, cliffs and valley below. There are also a couple tunnels as well through the rock. It's located just off the road in western Colorado and is a convenient stop if you are heading to Arches National Park (like I was).
According to DesertUSA, "The canyon bottoms, about 4,700 feet elevation, have ancient Precambrian rocks covered by Triassic-age Chinle, Wingate, Kayenta, Entrada and Summerville formations, then the Morrison Formation bearing dinosaur fossils. Three Cretaceous formations are exposed on top of the mesa , about 7,200 feet elevation. Independence Monument is a free-standing monolith that rises 450 feet from the canyon floor."
The rock here at the Monument is white with some hints of red, pinks and beiges. The green trees
and bushes give a wonderful hint of needed color. Put a pretty blue sky with it and it's scenery so worth a stop. There's a drastic change as you near Utah and the rock turns to dark red...just as pretty but a big surprising how quickly it turns. It was a beautiful day and perfect for site seeing. Great start to my mini vacation.
Next up...Arches National Park.
There are more photos below