2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Fruita, CO - Monument RV Park - Site 66

Fruita, CO - Monument RV Park - Site 66, another view

Rifle to Fruita, CO 0 - our route - 84 miles

Rifle to Fruita, CO 1

Rifle to Fruita, CO 2

Rifle to Fruita, CO 3

Rifle to Fruita, CO 4

Rifle to Fruita, CO 5

Rifle to Fruita, CO 6 - the Colorado River running alongside

Rifle to Fruita, CO 7

Rifle to Fruita, CO 8

Rifle to Fruita, CO 9

Rifle to Fruita, CO 10 - the railroad tunnel

Rifle to Fruita, CO 11 - our tunnels

Rifle to Fruita, CO 12

Rifle to Fruita, CO 13

Rifle to Fruita, CO 14

Rifle to Fruita, CO 15

Rifle to Fruita, CO 16

Rifle to Fruita, CO 17

Rifle to Fruita, CO 18

Rifle to Fruita, CO 19

Rifle to Fruita, CO 20 - now we are running beside the...

Rifle to Fruita, CO 21 - a sculpture in the roundabout at...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 1

Colorado Nat'l Monument 2

Colorado Nat'l Monument 3 - one of the three tunnels

Colorado Nat'l Monument 4 - another, notice the turn at the exit

Colorado Nat'l Monument 5 - part of Fruita as seen from atop...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 6 - more of Fruita

Colorado Nat'l Monument 7

Colorado Nat'l Monument 8

Colorado Nat'l Monument 9 - the Rim Trail

Colorado Nat'l Monument 10

Colorado Nat'l Monument 11 - Praying Hands, Pipe Organ and Independence Monument

Colorado Nat'l Monument 12 - our first view of Window Rock from...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 13 - a little closer

Colorado Nat'l Monument 14 - Kissing Couple

Colorado Nat'l Monument 15 - Monument Canyon

Colorado Nat'l Monument 16 - Window Rock from the top, looks a...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 17

Colorado Nat'l Monument 18 - one of the many bent and twisted...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 19

Colorado Nat'l Monument 20

Colorado Nat'l Monument 21

Colorado Nat'l Monument 22

Colorado Nat'l Monument 23 - Pipe Organ and Praying Hands from the...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 24 - Independence Monument from the other side

Colorado Nat'l Monument 25 - Kissing Couple from a little closer

Colorado Nat'l Monument 26 - the Island

Colorado Nat'l Monument 27 - the Coke Ovens

Colorado Nat'l Monument 28 - a Raven circling above

Colorado Nat'l Monument 29 - some of the sheer sandstone cliffs

Colorado Nat'l Monument 30 - a view up the Upper Ute Canyon

Colorado Nat'l Monument 31 - Fallen Rock, that split from the wall...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 32 - a look up Ute Canyon

Colorado Nat'l Monument 33 - a look down Ute Canyon from the...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 34 - Got to have some wildflowers!!

Colorado Nat'l Monument 35 - one of the Ute Canyon walls

Colorado Nat'l Monument 36 - You see how high we are, the...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 37 - you can see Grand Junction in the...

Colorado Nat'l Monument 38 - the third tunnel

Colorado Nat'l Monument 39 - lots of hairpin turns

Colorado Nat'l Monument 40

Colorado Nat'l Monument 41 - looking back up


It was a short 84 mile drive from Rifle Gap State Park to Fruita, CO that was filled with amazing scenery. When you follow the Colorado River, you can be assured of some terrific views. I will have to say the I-70 from Denver to Fruita has to be one of the biggest engineering achievements in this country. Coming over the Rockies and through all of these canyons presented some major challenges to building an interstate highway.

We are staying in Monument RV Park just on the edge of Fruita, a couple of miles from the Western entrance to the Colorado National Monument. We have a very long, but narrow, pull-through with 50 amp full hook-ups, free WiFi and cable, a clear shot to the satellite and a strong Verizon signal.

After getting set up we set out for some Linner (Lunch/Dinner) and found Rib City which gave Doris a chance to get her fill of Baby Backs. It was a great place with good service (we were the only ones there that time of day) and very tasty food, all for a very reasonable price. We got enough to fill up and then take home a few meals as well!

Friday we headed for the Colorado National Monument. After stopping at the visitor center we set out on the Rim Trail which is a great walk along the canyon rim where you can see most of the named monuments across the canyon. At the end of that trail was another short trail to Window Rock which we also walked. It was a hot but also very satisfying hike that we enjoyed very much.

We then drove the rest of the 23 mile scenic Rim Rock Drive which presented some incredible views. The Monument is at the North end of the Colorado Plateau which stretches down through Utah and Arizona and all of the various canyon national Parks. It is a tremendous start to a remarkable feature of the desert southwest in this country. Along the drive we stopped at several turnouts to take short hikes to the rim and see more of the same monument features as well as the different canyons that make up the Monument. All in all it was a very satisfying day.

Saturday was college football - ALL DAY! There were some great games this weekend and it should only get better as the season progresses. NFL starts Thursday so life is really good again. In case you cannot tell, this boy has missed his football!!

Sunday was a relaxing day, getting a few little things done on the Mothership, getting her ready for Mondays's trip and just enjoying each other. We will be going to Montrose, CO for four nights to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The Gunnison river created that canyon before flowing into the Colorado here at Grand Junction.

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