Run on what is considered to be one of the most scenic roads in the United States! The Colorado National Monument, run by the National Park Service, is an area of desert land high on the Colorado Plateau. There are sheer-walled red-rock canyons, with pinyon and juniper forests on the plateau. Rim Rock Drive is a 23-mile scenic road, offering a vast panorama, traveling between the park’s east entrance in Grand Junction and the west entrance in Fruita.
It is possible to run on Rim Rock Drive — in fact, it’s popular for cycling. [Note: it is steep, there’s no shoulder, and there are three tunnels. There can be trucks on 4 miles on the eastern side.] The full Rim Rock Drive is a 2,300 foot climb. To avoid some of the steepest hills, choose a section west of the Visitor Center, which is 4 miles from the western entrance near Fruita.
Add-Ons: There are several hiking trails that are also good for trail running.
- Rim Rock Drive is 23 miles. The cycling loop is 33 miles. Choose a section!
- Very hilly. Entire Rim Rock Drive is a 2,300 foot gain. It's less steep from the Visitor Center.
- Eastern End: near Grand Junction off Monument Dr; Western End: Fruita
- Access from Grand Junction or Fruita