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 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.
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.
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.
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, CO81507
Trailhead coordinates: 39.104705, -108.728453 (39° 06′ 16.93″N 108° 43′ 42.43″W)
|Canyon Rim Trail|
This one-mile round trip hike begins at Saddlehorn Visitor Center and travels along the cliffs edge overlooking Monument Canyon.
|Alcove 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.
This 0.75-mile round trip hike visits an overlook near the Pipe Organs with an excellent view of Independence Monument and Monument Canyon.
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This 80-site campground is the only designated camping area in Colorado National Park, conveniently located near Saddlehorn Visitor Center.