Colorado National Monument, Colorado Southwest Red-Rock Country
The red-rock country of the Southwest is justifiably famous for its spectacular canyons, buttes, spires, and other sandstone formations. Colorado National Monument offers a splendid array of eroded cliffs and pinnacles in an accessible and easily toured location, without the crowds and long-distance drives associated with more famous sites in the region. Much of the park can be seen on the 23-mile Rim Rock Drive, which can be reached just a few minutes off I-70 near Grand Junction, Colorado. Trails here range from the short, easy Window Rock Trail to more strenuous hikes such as the route into Monument Canyon, which passes major rock sculptures including Independence Monument (a 450-foot-high sandstone monolith), Kissing Couple, and the Coke Ovens.