by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Colorado NM

Motor Coach Guide for Rim Rock Drive

brochure Colorado NM - Motor Coach Guide for Rim Rock Drive
National Park Service Department of the Interior Colorado National Monument Fruita, CO 81521 Motor Coach Guide for Rim Rock Drive W elcome to Colorado National Monument! Your guests are about to experience one of the grandest scenic drives in the American West. Rim Rock Drive offers 23 miles of twists and turns above red rock canyons and alongside pinyon-juniper forest. The road — built from 1931 to 1950 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Local Experienced Men (LEMs), and the Works Project Administration (WPA) — is inseparable from the identity of the monument. The drive provides access to Saddlehorn Visitor Center and Campground, three picnic areas, 19 signed overlooks, and 14 hiking trails. Easy access to overlooks will allow your guests to gaze upon towering shrines and scan canyons for raptors. Look for bighorn sheep along the drive. Allow at least one hour driving time, plus additional time for walking, photography, or stopping at pullouts. Road Grades From the west entrance to the Saddlehorn Visitor Center and from the east entrance to Cold Shivers Point, the grade is between 6-9 percent (steeper from the east side). The west entrance is at 4690 feet; the highest point in the park is 6640 feet; and the east entrance is at 4930 feet. Tunnel Dimensions Clearance ranges from a low of 11’5” at a point two feet from the curb to a maximum of 16’1” above the center of the road. • • • Fees Lower West Tunnel - 236 feet long Upper West Tunnel - 182 feet long East Tunnel - 530 feet long Tour companies pay $100 for a coach with a seating capacity of 26 or more passengers. The fee is paid at the entrance station by cash, check, or credit card. If paying by check, the tour operator must write on the check either the taxpayer ID number of the business or the social security number of the tour operator. Cold Shivers Point Overlook Stops (1) Book Cliffs View along Saddlehorn Campground road, see Saddlehorn Picnic Area (below) for directions. Pull-in pull-out on one-way road. (2) Independence Monument View 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of the visitor center along Rim Rock Drive. Accessible. Turning radius allows you to continue east or west. Experience dramatic views of Independence Monument. (3) Cold Shivers Point 15.5 miles (24.9 km) east of the visitor center. Accessible. Pull-in pull-out, continue east. (4) Devils Kitchen Picnic Area 19 miles (30.6 km) east of the visitor center. Accessible. Drive through parking lot. Marvel at the historic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. See if you can find the reverse fault. Saddlehorn Visitor Center Located four miles from the west entrance, the Saddlehorn Visitor Center offers a store, exhibits, great views, short strolls, restrooms, seasonal ranger-led programs, and two 12-minute films: “The Spirit of Colorado National Monument” and “The Geologic Evolution of Colorado National Monument.” Driver: Please drop visitors off at the accessible ramp in front of the visitor center, exit the parking lot, and drive back around to the designated parking area. Saddlehorn Picnic Area Saddlehorn Picnic Area, adjacent to the Saddlehorn Campground, can easily accommodate your motor coach. Consider stopping at Book Cliffs View along the way for Grand Valley vistas and monolith panoramas. The campground road is one way. To reach the overlook, turn left into the campground area and continue straight (past campground loops A, B, C). The overlook is on the left. Accessible Amenities • • • • • Restrooms at the Saddlehorn Visitor Center and Devils Kitchen Picnic Area. Picnic areas at Saddlehorn Visitor Center and Devils Kitchen. Overlooks at Independence Monument View and Cold Shivers Point. Seasonal ranger-led talks on the porch of the Saddlehorn Visitor Center. Both visitor center videos are open-captioned. An induction loop is provided for the benefit of users of hearing aids, and assisted listening devices are available at the front desk. Motor Coach Regulations • Drivers are prohibited from idling their engines at overlooks and parking areas, including the visitor center parking lot. Any spills must be reported to a ranger. Comply with posted speed limits. Do not cross the double yellow line. Use lights in tunnels. Do not pass in tunnels. Allow 3 feet between the motor coach and bicyclists. Do not wash motor coach on park land. General Park Regulations • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • No littering. Removing natural or cultural features (e.g. wildflowers, rocks) is prohibited. Do not leave established trails. Never feed wildlife, including birds, even if they approach you or appear to beg for handouts. Stay at least 25 yards (23 m) from wildlife. Do not harass or interfere with animal behavior. Never throw objects at animals for the sake of a photograph. Refrain from throwing objects in waterways. Many creatures make their home there. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA

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