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Rim Rock Drive

Rim Rock Drive is one of the grandest scenic drives in the American West. It’s located in Colorado and is 23-mile long. The drive delivers dizzying cliff’s edge views in Colorado National Monument.

The road links Fruita and Grand Junction following the upper rim of a series of canyons.The winding roadway plots an improbable course along the rim of Monument Canyon. Rim Rock Drive is impressively engineered, melded with the landscape in a very unobtrusive way while providing visitors with unforgettable views right from their bike or car. The road, set in the kind of rugged, wild-west, is the main artery through the park. The surface of the road is asphalted. Please use caution as you drive along the road and watch for wildlife, fallen rocks, and other hazards. There are nineteen overlooks and fourteen trails along the drive. The road was carved out of the rock by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 under the New Deal. During a rainy spell, rock slides are common on Rim Rock Road. The hour-long drive winds through red rock canyons through scenery dotted with pine and juniper trees. Above, golden eagles soar. Redrock canyons, crisp blue skies, and verdant green juniper splash fantastic views along the way for motorists and bicyclists. The road is inseparable from the identity of the Monument. The drive provides access to Saddlehorn Visitor Center and campground, 19 signed viewpoints, and 14 hiking trails. The drive offers redrock canyons, crisp blue skies, and glorious views along the way for motorists and bicyclists. Obey posted speed limits and be careful on the narrow road shoulders. Watch for bicyclists and share the road with them. The road is challenging, narrow, and steep in some sections with sheer dropoffs. Special considerations must be made for road travel since motorists and bicyclists share the road. Use caution when on tight corners and hills. On the east side of the monument, motorists may encounter large trucks that use four miles of the monument's roadway to access the community of Glade Park.

This drive is 23 miles of switchbacks with an elevation change of approximately 1,100 feet. The road can be closed for a few hours to clean up several boulders that broke apart, when they hit the pavement. The view at left is from close to the top looking back down the road. There are two tunnels on this section of the drive with a center height of 16’ but 11’5” near the edges. With large vehicles be safe: basically you will need to drive down the center of the tunnels, which can be a little unnerving a times!

 

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