Window Rock Trail Colorado National Monument

Window Rock Trail begins next to Bookcliff Shelter, not far from Saddlehorn Campground. The trail looks south into Monument Canyon and north over the cities below. This 1/3-mile round trip hike ends at a distinct point at the north end of the western wall of Monument Canyon where a natural window pierces the top of the cliff.

Window Rock Trail
Window Rock

Window Rock Trail is wide and easy to follow, descending gradually about 60 vertical feet through a forest of Pinyon pines and Utah junipers. There are no junctions to worry about, leaving you free to enjoy the sights along the way. Up canyon, the park’s major monoliths are all in sight. Independence Monument, Praying Hands, Kissing Couple, and other formations make up a postcard view. The canyon is most picturesque in the late afternoon when the sandstone is illuminated orange.

Window Rock Trail
Looking south up Monument Canyon

A yellow railing marks the safe viewing area at the end of the trail. The natural window a few feet down makes hiking to the tip the point dangerous. There is plenty to see from behind the railing, including a view of the window itself. After safely enjoying Window Rock, simply return the way you came.

Window Rock Trail
Window Rock

To expand this hike, combine it with Canyon Rim Trail. Begin at Saddlehorn Visitor Center and hike half a mile to Book Cliff View and the start of Window Rock Trail. The views are great from both trails.

Window Rock Trail Map
A map of the Saddlehorn area courtesy of the National Park Service

To get to the trailhead: From Saddlehorn Visitor Center, drive north on Rim Rock Drive and make an immediate right toward Saddlehorn Campground. Make a left after a short distance and continue half a mile around the one way circle to the trailhead just before Bookcliff Shelter.

Trailhead address: Unnamed Road, Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction, CO 81507
Trailhead coordinates: 39.104705, -108.728453 (39° 06′ 16.93″N 108° 43′ 42.43″W)

Use the map below to create your own directions:

View Colorado National Monument in a larger map
Photos

Window Rock TrailWindow Rock TrailWindow Rock TrailWindow Rock TrailWindow Rock TrailWindow Rock TrailWindow Rock TrailWindow Rock TrailWindow Rock TrailCanyon Rim Trail

These photos were taken in June of 2010. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Colorado National Monument TrailsCanyon Rim Trail
This one-mile round trip hike begins at Saddlehorn Visitor Center and travels along the cliffs edge overlooking Monument Canyon.
Colorado National Monument TrailsAlcove Nature Trail
This one-mile round trip hike is less scenic than others in the park but offers information about the plants, animals, and geology of the park.
Colorado National Monument TrailsOtto’s Trail
This 0.75-mile round trip hike visits an overlook near the Pipe Organs with an excellent view of Independence Monument and Monument Canyon.
Colorado National Monument TrailsMore trails in Colorado
Explore other destinations in Colorado National Monument.
Camping
Colorado National Park campingSaddlehorn Campground
This 80-site campground is the only designated camping area in Colorado National Park, conveniently located near Saddlehorn Visitor Center.
    LoadingAdd to trails I’ve hiked
    LoadingAdd to trails I want to hike
Tagged with: | |
Distance: 0.35 miles – Elevation change: 60 feet

Ask a question or share your experience

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *