Grand times in the monument

Though we enjoy our life in Moab, we do not find as many services in our desert home as in other places.

So, like many good Moab-ites, we find we do more and more of our errands in the “big city” of the greater Grand Junction, CO area.

With a total population of about 100k people, it offers such services as dentists with cleanings available without a year or longer wait and more medical options in general. This place services Joan’s circa 2005 hybrid Honda Civic (still on its original clutch! Yes, it’s a hybrid with a stick shift.), a Toyota dealership, other stores, brew pubs…and in 2026, a Costco!

Oh, and even our marriage one fine August day.

When we do errands in the Big City, we plan outdoor time around the many places there. Many outdoor places call, and we never lack enjoyment of the  nooks and crannies of our Colorado Plateau neighbor about two hours away.

One such place we enjoy is the Colorado National Monument and the adjacent Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area.

You may recognize this couple.

Since my first trips here years ago, I’ve always appreciated this gem of an area with fewer people (despite a larger town), scenery, and enjoyable and quiet regions.

If the monument, in particular, does not get overly remote, it does make for an accessible place that still retains a bit of wildness.

Of course, being close to town also allowed us to meet up with people at one of the brew pubs and even get on a sunset hike before said brewpub.

And if the camping is cold for most, it means we had a quiet place with views that did not disappoint either night.

Looking towards The Bookcliffs.

And we appreciate a 12+ mile hike from our campsite with views of the mesa above and looking into the surrounding canyons.

On the ridge. I’m wearing my new favorite winter base layer. Review to come! PCO Joan.

We followed a path that got used to connect the town of Fruita to the hamlet of Glade Park, too.

And the winter light on the red rocks did not seem far different from our relatively nearby home.

On our last morning, we went to the nearby trailheads that grant access to the wilderness area.

Another land of red rocks, canyons, and scenic delights.

PCO Joan.


All bordering the monument.

And with its bit of history, too.

Another excellent hike on a cold January day.

What could have become a mundane weekend of errands turned into another memorable weekend of enjoying some wild spaces.

When we go see the dentist again six months from now, I’m sure we’ll continue to find outdoor delights just to the east of us. And I’m sure I’ll enjoy some craft beer again, too.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments