Colorado National Monument

I started my ride by heading West to Fruita. It’s a pleasant little farming community which recently has gained a reputation almost equaling that of Moab as a mountain bike destination.

Bicycle Scupture Fruita

Bicycle Sculpture Fruita

I came upon this gentleman repairing a bicycle sculpture in the central park of Fruita. It’s made of tractor parts and looks like it could be  ridden, by Paul Bunyon. 🙂

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Fruita

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Fruita

Some of the churches around this part of the country are very interesting. Made of local materials, many of these churches date  back to the 19th Century. The church next door has a cornerstone that says the church was established in 1888 and the building was erected in 1908.

Downtown Fruit

Downtown Fruit

Downtown Fruita is about two blocks long. I noticed a lot of locals going into the little place with the red umbrellas. I forgot to write down the name, but Google seems to think its Camilla’s Kaffe. I had good coffee and an excellent “bikers” breakfast burrito.

James M Robb Colorado River State Park

James M Robb Colorado River State Park

On the way to the Monument I made a short stop in this Park. Lots of nice RV parking short walking distance from the Colorado River.

Looking toward the Monument

Looking toward the Monument

I somehow managed to miss the North entrance to the Monument near Fruita, and ended up riding all the way along the Redlands to Monument Road which is on the South end of the park. This probably added an additonal 30 miles to my ride, with much extra climbing too

Park Entrance

Park Entrance

You might be able to see the two other bike riders who were entering the park at the same time I was. They seemed to require much less effort to climb up into the Monument than I. But, they seem to be much younger than I, and probably are better acclimated to the altitude. I seemed to constantly have problems getting enough oxygen, which I attribute to living at sea level. After a month or so here, I probably would become adjusted to the altitude and find it easier to generate the power to make some of these climbs easier.

Overlook

Overlook

Somewhere down in that canyon is where I started from. It was a tough climb up to the top.

Cold Shivers Point

Cold Shivers Point

Nice view into one of the Canyons in the Monument. In the distance you can make out the Book Cliffs on the other side of the Grand Valley.

Crest

Crest

This small sign on the opposite side of the road is the only indicator that I’ve reached the top. All downhill from here. 🙂

Hoodoos

Hoodoos

They have names for each of these rock formations, but I didn’t pick up any brochures or make notes. So, I can’t name them for you.

Tunnel Entrance

Tunnel Entrance

You are required to have lights on your bicycle if you enter the park. The couple in front of me had to buy them from the ranger when they entered the park. My bike has dynamo lights so I only paid the $5 entry fee. Some of the local racers didn’t pay the fee at all and I didn’t see lights on their bikes. I guess the rules are only for tourists. 🙂 Lights must be on when you enter these tunnels. If memory serves there are four in the park.

Looking out from a tunnel

Looking out from a tunnel

I thought it was cool riding through the tunnels. Not something I experience every day.

I had a great ride. If you decide to go, I recommend early fall or early spring. It can get quite warm up on the Monument as it can all around Grand Junction and the Grand Valley.  There’s a Colorado National Monument web site that will give you good information about the Park.

I enjoyed the ride enough, that I’d like to do it again.

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1 comment to Colorado National Monument

  • Hi

    Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the narrative and photos. I must admit I get rather bored when an individual simply downloads all the photos!

    My blog is not up to much I am afraid.

    Peter

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