Colorado National Monument, One Foggy Morning


The plan was great: get up around 5:30, drive up Rim Rock Drive into the Colorado National Monument, and watch the sun rise. But on this day, the sun didn’t come up.

Well, I suppose it still rose, but I couldn’t see it. A thick blanket of grey covered the sky, as far east as the western front of the Rockies. And up on the plateau, my head was literally in the clouds.

Colorado National Monument

My morning journey was still worth it, though. The fog helped me take some interesting photos. It also helped ensure that I was all alone. I walked down to the edge of the cliff and sat down just a few inches from the ledge. I stayed there for a good 45 minutes, taking in the silence and solitude.

Colorado National Monument, Rim Rock Drive

When it changed from a mist to a rain, I headed back to the car, and drove through the park. In some places, the road was completely fogged in.

Colorado National Monument

I stopped at several overlooks, and found clouds rising up out of the canyons. True, a clear,
bright morning would have been great, but this was just as good.

Colorado National Monument, Rim Rock Drive

Fruita, Colorado: Dinosaur Hill

Dinosaur Hill, Fruita Colorado

Between Interstate 70 (at Fruita) and Colorado National Monument, there are a couple more stops that might interest you. One is Dinosaur Hill. A mile long trail winds around this rock
outcropping. You’ll pass the locations of several excavations, including the 1901 dig by Elmer Riggs and a crew from the Field Museum in Chicago. They removed an Apatosaurus skeleton from the mountain.

Fruita, Colorado is on the edge of the “Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway”. The loop route takes you to some of the country’s most significant archeological sites, including Dinosaur National Monument, in the northwest corner of the state. The trip from Fruita to Moab also follows the byway. and has more information.

Rodeo, Fruita, Colorado

Just below Dinosaur Hill is Rimrock Adventures, where during the summer months, you can catch some cowboys hanging on for dear life, every Tuesday night.

The Rodeo and Dinosaur Hill are both located on Colorado Rte. 340, off I-70 at exit 19.

Note: This trip was first published in 2005.

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