Photographer's Note

The Colorado National Monument (often simply referred to as The Monument) is a part of the U.S. National Park Service near the city of Grand Junction, Colorado, in the western part of the state. It is a semi-desert land high on the Colorado Plateau. Pinyon pines and juniper trees, ravens and jays, desert bighorns and coyotes are all quite comfortable there. There are many activities including hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, or just a drive through the park. There are magnificent views from trails and the Rim Rock Drive, which winds along the plateau. Nearby are the purple-gray Book Cliffs, and the huge flat-topped mountain called Grand Mesa (the largest flat topped mountain in the world.)

Its feature attraction is Monument Canyon, which runs the length of the park, and includes rock formations such as Independence Monument, Window Rock, and Coke Ovens. The monument includes 20,500 acres, or 32 square miles, and much of it has been recommended to Congress for designation as wilderness.

Park History

The area was first explored by John Otto, a drifter who settled in Grand Junction in the early 20th Century. Prior to Otto's arrival, many area residents believed the canyons to be inaccessible to humans. Otto began building trails on the plateau and into the canyons. As word spread about his work, the Chamber of Commerce of Grand Junction sent a delegation to see what he was doing. The delegation returned praising both Otto's work and the scenic beauty of the wilderness area. The local newspaper began lobbying to make it a National Park.

The area was established as Colorado National Monument on May 24, 1911. Otto was hired as the first park ranger, drawing a salary of $1 per month. For the next 16 years, he continued building and maintaining trails while living in a tent in the park.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: JC Ramos (jramos) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 47 W: 26 N: 141] (507)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2003-07-19
  • Categories: Nature
  • Camera: Canon PowerShot S30
  • Exposure: f/5.6, 1/640 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2006-11-15 19:30
Viewed: 3057
Points: 4
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Additional Photos by JC Ramos (jramos) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 47 W: 26 N: 141] (507)
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