Monument View

Round Trip Distance: 16.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4510 - 4543 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Blue Heron Boat Launch
Fee: none
Attractions: Paved riverfront trail

The Monument View section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail System was completed in 2014 as the latest addition to the long anticipated link of trails along the Colorado River in the Grand Junction, Colorado area. With its completion there is now a paved pedestrian and bicycle route between the towns of Grand Junction and Fruita. While the more than 8 mile length of this section of trail is fine for bicyclists most hikers will probably want to pick a smaller chunk to complete at any one time.

This post begins at the Blue Heron Boat Launch where the current Blue Heron section joins the newly completed Monument View section. Other good starting points include the Walker Wildlife Area off of Railroad Avenue or the Colorado Welcome Center in Fruita.

The trail begins by coursing its way through the trees that line the banks of the Colorado River.

At just over the quarter mile point the trail passes beneath the Redlands Parkway.

From there it winds its way along the river skirting several wetlands and small lakes.

Around the 2.4 mile point the trail passes the Walker Wildlife Area.

After the Walker Wildlife Area the trail continues west and begins paralleling Interstate 70.

From this point the views of the Colorado National Monument, for which the trail was named, begin to attract the occasional gaze. This picture was taken with a zoom lens making the monument, which is several miles away, appear much closer than it actually is.

Part of the trail is such a tight squeeze between the Colorado River and the Interstate that it was built upon pilings and hidden from the view of passing motorists by a decorative concrete wall.

At the 4.8 mile point the trail leaves the river behind and breaks out in the open paralleling the Frontage Road.

The stretch along the Frontage Road lasts about 3.4 miles. Enroute the trail passes the golf course and Heritage Park. Heritage Park has a restroom, playground and picnic area and could also serve as an easy trailhead at the Fruita end of the trail.

The trail comes to an end just before the Colorado Welcome Center where there is another picnic area and more restrooms. For this post we made a quick loop around the building before retracing the route back to the Blue Heron trail.

The Monument View section of the Riverfront Trail opens a lot of new scenery for trail users to enjoy. It also provides a much needed route between Grand Junction and Fruita that doesn't require riding on roads where pedestrians and cyclists are competing with motor vehicles for the same space. For this post we rode the entire route on our bikes. We have also hiked the section between Blue Heron and the Walker Wildlife Area which comes out just under 5 miles round trip. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.