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Biking through the Colorado National Monument

Photo courtesy of Keith Benedetto

When you come to Fruita to ride your road bike, you’ll be directed to the Colorado National Monument as the “must do” ride in the area!

This ride can be done most of the year, as long as the roads are clear. Many of our locals enjoy the challenge during the winter to keep in shape.

This 23-mile route stretches from one end of the monument to the other end. This ride involves 2,300 feet of climbing on paved, winding roads with breathtaking views. When you’re planning this ride, account for about 4 hours total time and keep the following tips in mind. 

1. Layers – With over 2,300 feet of climbing and descending, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing the appropriate layers to keep you warm and cool enough.

2. Water & Food – you’re riding in the desert, so be sure you’re carrying enough water for your ride. Also, with the amount of climbing you will encounter, you’ll want some food to keep your energy up during this ride.

3. Sunscreen – winter or summer riding both require the application of sunscreen to body parts you leave exposed. The sun in Western Colorado can be a bit more brutal than other places.

Biking the Colorado National Monument

Photo courtesy of Keith Benedetto

4. Cash – you’ll need to pay an entrance fee to the park. As of January 1, 2019, the cost for bicycles is $10. If you’re a die-hard, this pass will allow you entry for seven days after the purchase date to ride this route more than once. Locals, you can also buy an annual pass for around $40.

5. Lights – bicycles or riders must be equipped with lights visible from the front and rear for safe passage through the tunnels.

6. Obey the Laws – bicycles must obey all traffic laws, including speed limits, passing zones, stop signs, and staying on the road. You are also required to ride single file through the Monument at all times. These rules are for your safety as well as other traffic.

7. Enjoy! – There are many viewpoints that you can stop to catch your breath, eat a snack, get some water, and take it all in. The rock formations you will encounter are one-of-a-kind, and each one seems more spectacular than the last.

While on this ride you will not only get to experience the majestic pillars of red rock formations but wildlife too, like bighorn sheep. The Colorado National Monument is one of those rides that should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already. CBB has the bikes and gear you’ll need to ensure this is a pleasurable experience. Start planning your Fruita trip today!

Colorado National Monument - Fruita, Colorado