Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What time are you open?
A: Colorado National Monument is open seven days a week, throughout the year. Visitor center hours

Q: Do you have a visitor orientation film?
A: We have a new (as of 2022) 18-minute video that is shown upon request.

Q: What is the difference between a National Park and a National Monument?
A: The difference lies in how they are established. A National Park is set aside by an act of Congress, which after approval, requires the president's signature. A National Monument is established by presidential proclamation and doesn't require an act of Congress.

Q: How high is the visitor center?
A: 5,787 feet

Q: What is the highest point on the road?
A: 6,640 feet

Q: How can I find out if the campground is full?
A: The Saddlehorn campground will fill up during busy months (April and May especially), and reservations can be made from mid-March through mid-October. The rest of the year, it is first-come, first served, and we don't always know when all the sites are taken. You may ask at the entrance stations upon your arrival. Please bring cash or check to pay the campground fee. More information about the campground and making reservations can be found here.

Q: Are wood fires allowed in the park?
A: No, wood fires are never permitted in the park. Charcoal grills are provided for charcoal use only. In the backcountry, only liquid fueled stoves are permitted. No charcoal grills and no wood fires are permitted in the backcountry.

Q: Are mountain bikes permitted on the trails?
A: No, mountain bikes are only permitted on the paved road (Rim Rock Drive). The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has excellent mountain bike trails that surround the park. Call 970-244-3000 for more information.

Q: Do you have backcountry camping?
A: Yes, the park has backcountry camping, however a free permit must be filled out at the visitor center during regular business hours for all trips.

Q: How do I get to the Rattlesnake Canyon Arches trailhead?
A: Rattlesnake Canyon Arches is actually located outside of Colorado National Monument and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (970-244-3000). Take I-70 west to the Fruita Exit (#19). Turn left at off ramp and cross back over I-70 and follow the signs to Colorado National Monument (CNM). Travel 11 miles from CNM entrance station, go right at the Glade Park Store turn off sign. Travel .2 miles to the "Black Ridge Access Roads". Stay on the Black Ridge access road for 13 miles to the Rattlesnake Arches trailhead. CAUTION: High clearance 4X4 vehicles are required for last 1.5 miles of road to trailhead because of steep grades. NOTE: There are 2 roads leading to the Arches Trailhead, the Upper Road and the Lower Road. Use of these roads is seasonally rotated for motorized travel. The Upper Road is open from April 15 - August 15 and the Lower Road from August 15 - February 15. From February 15 - April 15 no motorized travel allowed on either road. CAUTION: If the road appears wet, do not attempt to travel on it. NOTE: Rattlesnake Canyon Arches trail is part of the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, no motorized or mechanized travel is allowed off the Upper or Lower roads.

Q: You have tunnels on both sides of the monument. What are the heights and lengths of each?
A: There are three tunnels on Rim Rock Drive. There are two tunnels on the west side and one on the east side of the park. Heights: The clearance above the lanes of traffic ranges from a low point of 10'6" two feet near the edge of the curb to a maximum of 16' above the centerline of the road. Lengths: The east tunnel has a length of 530 feet. The lower west tunnel has a length of 236 feet, while the upper west tunnel has a length of 182 feet.

Q: How is cell phone coverage?
A: Coverage varies from good to no coverage at all depending on where you are in the Monument. You should assume that in the canyons, there will be no cell phone coverage. WiFi is available at the Visitor Center.

Q: Are pets allowed in the park?
A: Pets are allowed in campsites, picnic areas, and the pavement but must be kept on a leash at all times. They are not allowed on trails or in the backcountry and may not be left in vehicles. Outside of the Monument, there are thousands of acres of BLM land (Bureau of Land Managment) which are pet friendly. More information is located on our Pets page.

Last updated: September 10, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1750 Rim Rock Drive
Fruita, CO 81521


970 858-2800

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