Explore Colorado: Colorado National Monument

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Jennifer Broome takes us on a tour of the Colorado National Monument, near Grand Junction.

Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction and Frutia is one of the best landscapes of the American West.  Its Rim Rock Drive is one of the most spectacular drives and one of the most challenging bike rides in the country.  Colorado National Monument gets about a half million visitors a year with the busiest months being June, July, and August.

In 1911 President Taft proclaimed the area as a national monument, but there is no actual monument or statue.  You could call it a monument to geology.  The difference between a national park and national monument is designation.  A president can proclaim a national monument.  Congress must approve a national park.

Colorado National Monument was named after the Colorado River, which does not run through the monument but is close by.