Colorado National Monument 

Hello from Colorado!  We just spent 4 days in the Colorado National Monument.  

We were able to snag a spot at the Saddlehorn Campground inside the monument itself.  The campground is gorgeous!  Packed with juniper and amazing views, it was a great spot.  Except, the spots are nowhere near level.  We had to use five leveling blocks per tire. We have 10 leveling blocks and two tires, and the wheels can only handle steps of two levelers at a time.  See the problem? Thankfully, I have a degree in mathematics! (And an extra block of wood)

After we worked that issue it was smooth sailing until we realized our refrigerator was warmer than it should be.  It turns out, our refrigerator doesn’t work so well over 5,000 feet.  We were able to work that problem too and hopefully none of us will get food poisoning!! As I mentioned to a friend starting out in the RV world, the trick to enjoying the RV life is to expect everything to fail, and be happy when it doesn’t.  

Enough about our misadventures, let’s get to the park itself.  It’s a small park with some terrifyingly awesome views.  You can see every layer from Precambrian to Burro.  We had a lot of fun trying to identify which layer we were hiking/driving through.  I’ve decided I need a mnemonic to remember the order.  Any suggestions?

We did two hikes while we were here: The Serpent Trail and the Black Ridge Trail.  The Serpent trail is an old road and you can start at the bottom or the top.  It’s wide enough that it felt completely safe with the kids.  We started at the top, hiked most of the way down and turned back after lunch.  The Blackridge trail starts right by the visitor center and had some steep parts, but not terrifyingly so.  Both trails had a great array of wild flowers and, of course, spectacular views.

Our best sighting was the herd of Big Horn Sheep.  We’ve spent a lot of time in Sheep country, but we’ve never actually seen them.  We see signs of them, scat and tracks, but never the actual animal.  This isn’t unusual, they’re pretty elusive creatures.

The girls earned another badge, but I think their favorite part of this trip was the amazing playground we found in Grand Junction.  It had about 4 play structures, an exercise structure for adults, two swing sets, and a mini zip line.

The monument isn’t big and you can get a lot from just driving around it.  It’s close to two cities, so it’s a comfortable spot to spend a few days.  Just remember, if you’re bringing an RV to the campground, bring your leveling blocks!

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