by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Colorado

National Monument - Colorado

Colorado National Monument (locally referred to as The Monument) is near the city of Grand Junction, Colorado. Sheer-walled canyons cut deep into sandstone and granite–gneiss–schist rock formations. This is an area of desert land high on the Colorado Plateau, with pinion and juniper forests on the plateau. The park hosts a wide range of wildlife, including red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, ravens, jays, desert bighorn sheep, and coyotes. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, road bicycling, and scenic drives; a visitor center on the west side contains a natural history museum and gift shop. There are scenic views from trails, Rim Rock Drive, which winds along the plateau, and the campground. Nearby are the Book Cliffs and the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, the Grand Mesa. The monument's feature attraction is Monument Canyon, which runs the width of the park and includes rock formations such as Independence Monument, the Kissing Couple, and Coke Ovens.

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maps

Official Visitor Map of Colorado National Monument (NM) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Colorado - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Colorado National Monument (NM) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of 21 Road to 27 1/4 Road of the North Desert Extensive Recreation Management Area (ERMA) north of Fruita in the Grand Junction Field Office (FO) area in Colorado. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).North Desert - 21 Road to 27 1/4 Road

Map of 21 Road to 27 1/4 Road of the North Desert Extensive Recreation Management Area (ERMA) north of Fruita in the Grand Junction Field Office (FO) area in Colorado. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Overview Map of North Desert Extensive Recreation Management Area (ERMA) north of Fruita in the Grand Junction Field Office (FO) area in Colorado. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).North Desert - Overview Map

Overview Map of North Desert Extensive Recreation Management Area (ERMA) north of Fruita in the Grand Junction Field Office (FO) area in Colorado. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.nps.gov/colm/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_National_Monument Colorado National Monument (locally referred to as The Monument) is near the city of Grand Junction, Colorado. Sheer-walled canyons cut deep into sandstone and granite–gneiss–schist rock formations. This is an area of desert land high on the Colorado Plateau, with pinion and juniper forests on the plateau. The park hosts a wide range of wildlife, including red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, ravens, jays, desert bighorn sheep, and coyotes. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, road bicycling, and scenic drives; a visitor center on the west side contains a natural history museum and gift shop. There are scenic views from trails, Rim Rock Drive, which winds along the plateau, and the campground. Nearby are the Book Cliffs and the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, the Grand Mesa. The monument's feature attraction is Monument Canyon, which runs the width of the park and includes rock formations such as Independence Monument, the Kissing Couple, and Coke Ovens. Colorado National Monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. But this treasure is much more than a monument. Towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama. You can experience sheer-walled, red rock canyons along the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, where you may spy bighorn sheep and soaring eagles. Driving Westbound on Highway I-70 towards Grand Junction, Exit 31 (Horizon Drive). Follow signs through Grand Junction to the east entrance. The visitor center and campground are 19 miles from the east entrance. Eastbound on Highway I-70 take Exit 19 (Fruita). Turn south on Highway 340 to the west entrance, which is approximately three miles from Fruita. The visitor center and campground are four miles up from the west entrance. Saddlehorn Visitor Center For first hand information, maps, and brochures, the visitor center is a good place to start your adventure. It is located four miles from the Fruita Entrance and near Saddlehorn Campground. It is open every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day. The visitor center includes educational exhibits, an information desk staffed with knowledgeable rangers and volunteers, an eighteen minute long movie, and a bookstore operated by Colorado National Monument Association. Westbound on Highway I-70 towards Grand Junction, Exit 31 (Horizon Drive). Follow signs through Grand Junction to the east entrance. The visitor center and campground are 19 miles from the east entrance. Eastbound on Highway I-70 take Exit 19 (Fruita). Turn south on Highway 340 to the west entrance, which is approximately three miles from Fruita. The visitor center and campground are four miles up from the west entrance. Saddlehorn Campground Saddlehorn Campground is 4 miles from the west (Fruita) entrance. It is located in an area of pinyon pine and Utah juniper trees, and is within walking distance to the visitor center. Sites cost $22 a night. Loop A is open year round. Reservations can be made for A and B loops from mid-March through October on recreation.gov. There are flush toilets, but no hookups or dump station. Each site has a picnic table and charcoal grill, no wood fires allowed. RV length limit is 40 feet. Saddlehorn Campground Fee 22.00 Fee is per night. Maximum of 14 nights. Loops A and B - Seven (7) person per site limit, three (3) tents per site, and two (2) vehicles per site. Loop C - Seven (7) person per site limit, 1 vehicle, no trailers or large RVs Campsite at Saddlehorn Campground Picnic table nestled among the trees with a view of canyon beyond. A quiet campsite at Saddlehorn Campground. Camping at Colorado National Monument View through the trees of green tent pitched in campground. Tent camping at Saddlehorn Campground Winter Camping at Saddlehorn Campground Two people wearing jackets and hats near tent with snow behind tent Winter Camping at Saddlehorn Campground Independence Monument View of Independence Monument with Grand Valley in background. Taken from Rim Rock Rock Drive. View of Independence Monument with Grand Valley in background. Taken from Rim Rock Rock Drive. Monument Canyon Monument Canyon with red rock walls and a valley with rolling landscape covered with pinyon trees Monument Canyon Colorado National Monument Visitor Center Visitor Center with American Flag Colorado National Monument Visitor Center Rim Rock Drive Looking down from canyon rim at a portion of the historic Rim Rock Drive Rim Rock Drive was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Balanced Rock Rock spire with large boulder balancing on top. Balanced Rock NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Colorado National Monument, Colorado Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] rock bluff with slope below 2010 Freeman Tilden Award Recipients Seven rangers were awarded with a national or regional 2010 Freeman Tilden Award for excellence in interpretation. Learn more about their exciting and innovative projects. Portrait of John Kirkpatrick Landbird Monitoring in Northern Colorado Plateau Network Parks, 2018 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2018. Small, bright-orange bird with yellowish underfeathers. About The Southern Paiute “Paa” ute means water ute, and explains the Southern Paiute preference for living near water sources. The Spanish explorer Escalante kept detailed journals of his travels in the Southwest and made notes concerning Southern Paiute horticulture, writing in 1776, that there were “well dug irrigation ditches” being used to water small fields of corn, pumpkins, squash, and sunflowers. Southern Paiute boy by wickiup shelter. What We’re Learning and Why it Matters: Long-Term Monitoring on the Northern Colorado Plateau Knowing which key natural resources are found in the national parks, and whether they're stable or changing, helps decisionmakers make sound choices. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network is building that knowledge. After more than ten years of monitoring, we've learned a lot about park ecosystems, how they're changing, and what they may look like in the days to come. Find out what we’ve learned and how it’s being used to help managers plan for the future. Man stands in a stream, looking down at a handheld gauge. Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2019 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2019. Bald eagle Invasive Exotic Plant Monitoring at Colorado National Monument, 2017 Invasive exotic plants are one of the most significant threats to natural resources in the national parks today. To provide early warning of weed invasions, the Northern Colorado Plateau Network monitors target plants in park areas where they are likely to first establish: along roads, trails, and waterways. Find out what we learned at Colorado National Monument in 2017. Topo map with many colored dots representing location and size of invasive exotic plant patches Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Connecting Fire History and Fire Management at Colorado National Monument Colorado National Monument supports a persistent pinyon-juniper (PJ) woodland that has not been disturbed by large, stand-replacing fires since modern fire recordkeeping began. Due to their long fire-free intervals, these persistent woodlands offer a rare look at how long-term influences, such as climatic variability or disturbances other than fire, can influence woodland structure and development. Topo map showing green dots and brown gradient representing areas of different tree age. Triassic Period—251.9 to 201.3 MYA The brightly colored Triassic rocks of Petrified Forest National Park yield not only the petrified trees but many other plant and animal fossils. fossil footprint on stone Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2020 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2020. Small beige bird with black beak and feet, brown back. Birds and Observing Them Birds are found just about everywhere. Even when you can’t see them, you can often hear them. Bird diversity changes depending on location and season. Birds can be enjoyed in so many different ways: watching their activity, listening to their songs, noting their plumage, or capturing their likeness through art. Use this guide to learn more about birds and birding. A flock of American avocets swim on a lake. Monitoring From Space: Using Satellite Imagery to Measure Landscape Conditions on the Ground Scientists from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network travel thousands of miles each year to collect data on plants, soils, and water across network parks. But it would be impossible to cover every square inch of the Northern Colorado Plateau with boots on the ground. Instead, we simultaneously monitor the parks with boots in space—satellite data that provide information at a much broader scale. Satellite and Earth in space Top 10 Tips for Visiting Colorado National Monument Colorado National Monument rangers share their top 10 insider tips to help you #PlanLikeAParkRanger. Three hikers travel on rocky path. Invasive Exotic Plant Monitoring at Colorado National Monument Invasive exotic plants are one of the most significant threats to natural resources in the national parks today. To provide early warning of weed invasions, the Northern Colorado Plateau Network monitors target plants in park areas where they are likely to first establish: along roads, trails, and waterways. Find out what we've learned at Colorado National Monument. Topo map with many colored dots representing location and size of invasive exotic plant patches Localized Drought Impacts on Northern Colorado Plateau Landbirds Birds of the desert southwest, a climate-change hotspot, are among the most vulnerable groups in the US. To help park managers plan for those changes, scientists evaluated the influence of water deficit on landbird communities at 11 national parks in Utah and Colorado. The results will help land managers to focus conservation efforts on places where certain species are most vulnerable to projected climate changes. A man wearing a clipboard looks through binoculars at dawn in field of sagebrush Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Judith Córdova Judith Córdova experienced discrimination as a child in her Denver-area neighborhood. As an adult, she continued to fight against it in her job as an equal opportunity employment specialist for the National Park Service (NPS). Eventually she rose through the ranks herself, becoming the first Latina superintendent in 1993. Judith Cordova in an NPS baseball cap looks into the camera.

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