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greenBlue Window Rock Lollipop Loop

  4.5 ( 4 ) Favorite

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Trail

1.7 mile 2.7 kilometer loop
Singletrack
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 182' 55 m
Descent: -182' -55 m
High: 5,774' 1,760 m
Low: 5,647' 1,721 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

Head out on this hike along the edge of the canyon rim with amazing views of Monument Canyon.

Zander Göpfert

Features Birding · Views

Family Friendly A short loop with beautiful views and access to the Visitor Center and Saddlehorn Campground amenities.

Overview

A lovely, out-and-back, lollipop loop that features some of the best views in the national monument, this route links the Canyon Rim Trail and Window Rock Trail.

Description

To access the start of this hike, head to the Visitors Center off Rimrock Drive. From the south side of the building, head east and get ready to be taken on an other-worldly visual experience along the Canyon Rim Trail.

Beginning alongside the visitor center, follow the trail along the canyon rim as you traverse scrubby desert landscapes to an overlook near Sentinel Spire. Behold the striking desert monoliths before you, towering hundreds of feet above the valley floor amidst a colorful canvas of sandstone walls.

Continuing on from Sentinel Spire, ascend gently to a junction with the Window Rock Trail. Continue along the Window Rock Trail as it descends moderately from the mesa-top through sparse pinyon pine and Utah juniper to the lookout near the cliff edge. Peer over the edge in wonder at Monument Canyon's towering sandstone monoliths as you take a break, maybe drink some water, and enjoy your surroundings.

From this location, Independence Monument, the Pipe Organ, and Sentinel Spire can be seen to the south. Continue along the trail as it loops back to the junction with the Canyon Rim Trail. Enjoy the same route from a new perspective as you return to the Visitor Center parking area.

Flora & Fauna

This route heads through the Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, which is commonly found between the elevations of 4,500 and 6,500 feet. Given the smaller stature of the pinyon pine and Utah juniper, to combat the lack of water for growth, these landscapes are often referred to as pygmy forest. Between the juniper and pinyon pines, there are a number of other cacti and forbs that take root such as sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and mountain mahogany.

History & Background

The Colorado National Monument was established in 1916 and only accessible by horse or on foot for a number of years. Much of the work to establish buildings and camps was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, starting in 1933. Some of their biggest accomplishments were constructing Rim Rock Drive and the Window Rock Trail.

Contacts

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Check-Ins

Apr 15, 2019
Michael Hagen
Mar 23, 2019
Chris W
Oct 6, 2018
Mary Frances
Aug 11, 2018
Doug Koffler
Jul 1, 2018
Tracey Ziniel
Mar 22, 2018
Joshua Paul
Worth hiking a bit farther for a better look at window rock 2mi
Jan 12, 2018
Chrissy Martin
Sep 17, 2017
Michael Horwitz

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#1918

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
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Rankings

#285

in Colorado

#1,918

Overall
123 Views Last Month
2,091 Since Jul 19, 2016
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

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