Round Trip Distance: 2.0 miles
Elevation: 4692 - 4809 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Usage: Hiking - No Dogs
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Lower Monument Canyon
Attractions: Petroglyphs, rock shelter, scenic canyon geology
View Monument Canyon Petroglyphs in a larger map
The Monument Canyon Petroglyphs are located in the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, Colorado. There are two areas on either side of the trail register near the mouth of the canyon that each have a panel of petroglyphs. The panel to the south of the trail register has a panel within a rock shelter. The other petroglyphs that are on the north side of the trail register are of two small images carved into the dark patina of a flat surface of rock.
The Lower Monument Canyon trailhead provides access to Independence Monument, Wedding Canyon, Lizard Canyon and also a hike for Monument Canyon itself that reaches all the way up to the Upper Monument Canyon trailhead on Rimrock Drive.
The trail to the mouth of Monument Canyon is broad and easy to follow. There are minor hills to climb at the beginning of the trail and at the mouth of the canyon.
The trail register is partially hidden behind the big sagebrush in this photo. The panel with the two small petroglyphs is to the right.
The petroglyphs are on a sloped surface below a slanted overhang.
Stay on the slickrock until you are past the boulder in the picture before turning toward the petroglyphs. It is easier to walk on and it will help keep an unsightly trail from being made along the more direct approach.
The petroglyphs are of an animal and a happy looking little person.
The petroglyphs that are in the other direction are just across the wash from the trail register.
These petroglyphs look Archaic (7000 B.C. - 400 A.D.) in style but I haven't read anything to say whether that is the fact.
The pipe driven into the rock looks like part of one of John Otto's projects but what it was intended for is hard to say.
We just had to include a shot of Independence Monument.
The Monument Canyon petroglyphs and rock shelter are just one of the many ancient sites that have been found within the Colorado National Monument. You can read the post for the No Thoroughfare Canyon Petroglyphs to learn more on the topic. Also be sure to check out the petroglyphs at the nearby White Rocks Petroglyph Site. Be sure to report anyone that you see vandalizing or digging around any of the sites to a ranger. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.