Rim Rock Drive

Rim Rock Drive in CO delivers dizzying cliff’s edge views

Rim Rock Drive is the name of one of the most scenic drives in the American West. Located in Mesa County, in the U.S. state of Colorado, the drive delivers dizzying cliff’s edge views in Colorado National Monument. The road was carved out of the rock by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s.

Can you drive through Colorado National Monument?

Rim Rock Drive is the only paved road through Colorado National Monument. It was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps under the New Deal. It’s notable for its engineering. For much of its length, it was built through solid rock using manual labor.

How long is Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument?

The road is totally paved. It’s 41.68km (25.9 miles) and connects Fruita and Grand Junction following the upper rim of a series of canyons. The road includes three tunnels. 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.

How long does it take to drive the Rim Rock Drive in CO?

Tucked away in Colorado National Monument, plan up to one hour of drive time one-way without any stop. It's a pretty drive. The road 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 red rock canyons, crisp blue skies, and glorious views along the way for motorists and bicyclists.

Is Rim Rock Drive dangerous?

The winding roadway plots an improbable course along the rim of Monument Canyon. Please use caution as you drive along the road and watch for wildlife, fallen rocks, and other hazards. During a rainy spell, rock slides are common on the road. 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 drop offs. 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 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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