Monument National Park - Grand Junction, CO - a natural wonder preserved in the park system



Monument National Park otherwise known as the Colorado National Monument is steep walled red rock canyons covering twenty-thousand acres that are included in the national park system. The park is located close to Grand Junction on the Colorado Plateau's eastern edge. There are an estimated five hundred thousand visitors to the National Monument each year.

The mission of the non-profit Colorado National Monument Association with the mission of assisting with the educational, scientific, interpretive and historical activities of the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS is the partner agency for the association and together they ensure that the park is maintained for the continued enjoyment of visitors. Funds for the interpretive material publishing, projects, activities and outreach programs are raised with membership dues, the bookstore and fund raising activities. Proceeds from the fundraisers are donated to the numerous projects in the Monument National Park.

The park received $54,017 in donations of services and goods from the CNMA during 2006 to continue operations. The donations covered the costs of brochure printing, local school groups being lead on hikes by a teacher/ranger, lectures, program leaders and hosting resident volunteers in the Visitor Center during the Monument National Park's busy season. The donations also covered specialized lights to assist in reducing the pollution from the lights, staffing the information desk and other programs in the facilities at the Monument National Park.

There have been recent additions including star gazing sessions sponsored by the astronomy club, identification walks for plants and birds and lectures on geology. Local geologists conduct hikes and lectures. Originally incorporated as Black Canyon National History Association during 1964 the organization split during 1977. At this time the Colorado National Monument Association was formed. It consists of three part-time and one full time member on the staff in addition to a volunteer board of directors that is made up of seven people. The association also has almost five hundred paid members.

The Monument National Park only has one paved road which starts south of the Grand Junction four miles from the center of the town. The Rim Rock Drive starts to twist and become steep after it goes over the Colorado River and through the gate. There are a number of sharp corners and a tunnel as the road goes through the cliffs in the park before it begins following the plateau's edge for twenty miles to. The road gives visitors to the Monument National Park access to a number of trailheads and viewpoints in addition to passing both the camping area and visitor's center. The road then winds steeply down hill and through two additional tunnels before crossing the Colorado River again into Fruita.

Those wishing to obtain additional information about the Monument National Park and its facility should contact the CMNA directly. Anyone in the vicinity of Grand Junction, Colorado should make it a point to visit the Monument National Park where hiking trails and an amazing view of natural wonders such as cliffs and canyons make the trip amazingly peaceful.

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