The Colorado National Monument opened near Grand Junction, Colorado, in May of 1911 and has been a challenge to access for decades. The addition of Rim Rock Drive by 1951 offered guests a paved road to get them up close to geologic formations, and big horn sheep.

People still call up the radio station and ask us how long it takes to drive from one end of the Colorado National Monument to the other. The answer is different for almost everyone.

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How Long Does It Take To Drive Rim Rock Drive?

To drive from one end of the Colorado National Monument to the other will take most people 45 minutes to an hour without any stops. It would be a crime to do this after paying the $25 entree fee. Stopping at the overlooks can take an hour, or the rest of the day depending on the group. Storyboards and photo opportunities make each stop unique and worthy of a look.

Read More: How Much Snow Does the Colorado National Monument Get Annually?

How Many Overlooks are in the Colorado National Monument?

Rim Rock Drive stretches 23 miles from Fruita to Grand Junction. Along the way, there are 19 scenic overlooks to enjoy.

  • Balanced Rock View
  • Historic Trails View
  • Grand Valley Overlook and Distant View
  • Fruita Canyon View
  • Saddlehorn Utility Area Historic District
  • Book Cliffs View
  • Saddlehorn Picnic Area and Campground
  • Colorado National Monument Visitor Center
  • Independence Monument View
  • Grand View
  • Monument Canyon View Overlook
  • Coke Ovens Overlook
  • Artists Point View
  • Highlands View
  • Upper Ute Canyon View
  • Fallen Rock Overlook
  • Ute Canyon Overlook View
  • Red Canyon Overlook
  • Cold Shivers Point Overlook

Driving Excitement

Rim Rock Drive requires your attention. Some obstacles along the way include tight curves and sharp turns, wildlife, cyclists, and tourists from out of state. The maximum speed limit through most of Rim Rock Drive is 35 mph.

Read More: 10 Facts You May Not Know About Colorado's Independence Monument

Keep scrolling to see the view from some of the overlooks at the Colorado National Monument.

Must See Overlooks at the Colorado National Monument

How long is the drive through the Colorado National Monument on Rim Rock Drive? It depends on how many times you stop to check out the overlooks. Keep going to see 15 overlooks worth the view.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

STAY HERE: Horse Ranch Airbnb On Top of the Colorado National Monument

Check out these rustic cabins available on top of the Colorado National Monument via This affordable overnight is just 30 minutes from Grand Junction and offers an amazing view of the Monument you may have never seen before.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

MORE: 5 Fun Trails You Can Do in One Day at the Colorado National Monument

See some of the best features inside the National Monument by selecting these short to moderate trails that can all be done in one day or separately.

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