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Camping on top of Colorado National Monument!

So I was traveling through Grand Junction Colorado on the tail end of a road trip. I found that the Colorado National Monument was near and I wanted to camp somewhere nearby so I could check out the monument the following morning.

I found a place to camp out for free in a dispersed campsite on top of a ridge overlooking the Colorado National Monument.

This area I believe was called the Blackridge Wilderness. I got to my camp site late that night and made a little food on the grill, and used my skillet since they make the best food ever! Shortly after I headed off to bed. I woke up early to the sun shining and a beautiful clear day. Heres what I found!

 

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This is where I camped out for the night, you can see my cast iron skillet cooling down after breakfast there before packing up and heading out. The Yeti Cooler did a great job of keeping everything fresh for breakfasts along a 7 day road trip!

 

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This was the views that I woke up to less than 20 feet away from where I parked my truck, I was on top of a huge mesa! Thats the national monument below!

Breakfast was awesome as it always is when I’m out camping. I had bacon and eggs, the thick cut shit! The eggs were those healthy farm raised ones that were brown and I even stirred in some bell peppers and jalapeños. WOW!

Time to get going down the hill and see what Colorado National Monument was about, I was planning to make it to Moab by the end of the day so my trip through was short, but memorable.

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Headed down from the campsite, making my way back to the park.

 

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Some of the views you can find along the drive.

 

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One of the many canyons throughout the park.

There are a ton of hiking opportunities within the park, although I did not have time to get in any good hiking, because I didn’t have much time, but I stopped and looked around at a lot of places.

You can also find a couple of tourist visitor centers to check out when inside the park. There is a lot of cool history inside, as well as how the roads were cut into the canyon walls, the type of wildlife that can be found living in the canyon, as well as how the monument was formed so many years ago. Make sure you check them out.

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The canyons are extensive and I would have loved to be in the bottoms of them exploring.

 

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I wish there was water running down in that creek at the bottom, but it was a pretty dry time when I visited.

 

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Lookin out the other direction from where I’m standing.

 

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I thought that pillar out there was pretty cool.

 

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I thought this was was a really sick looking wall, so I had to pull over and check it out.

The road within the park is completely paved, but leads to some extraordinary lookout spots. I tried to stop at as many of them as I could. There are even some small tunnels you end up driving through on the main park road.

I’m always intrigued with how they build these tunnels through the rock and the kind of machinery they need to use for it. I seem to find them integrated into many parks in my travels.

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One of the tunnels you will find.

 

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And another tunnel!

Unfortunately this is only half of the park, as where I camped out the night before was found by driving half way through the park and exiting, then coming back and finishing the drive through the park the next day. I don’t have pictures of the park from the East entrance and half way through because I arrived late at night. I only have pictures from my campsite and the rest of the drive to the west side of the park where I exited near Fruita, Colorado and continued my journey down into Moab to explore Canyonlands that day.

Also don’t tell anyone but since I got there late, I got free admission to the park! But I was a good person and upon leaving I explained what I was going camping out at the Blackridge area, and the nice person at the gate was really awesome and let me go without paying. What a great start to the day!

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Leaving the Colorado National Monument

 

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Contemplating what I will say when the person at the gate asks why I don’t have a pay stub!

 

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Thats a wrap, goodbye!

Even though I was not able to cover the entire experience I had at this place in a small blog post, I hope that you will get the sense of how spectacular of a place it is, even though it is not a National Park, rather it is labeled a National Monument.

If I’m lucky I will inspire some people to take a drive through this park when they are visiting Grand Junction, Colorado. It is worth the drive and the 7 dollars or so if you don’t get in after hours! Feel free to ask me any questions about this place or where I camped for free if your interested, I’m happy to share my experiences with anyone! Thanks for visiting!

“Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.” -Charles Lindbergh

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