Alcove Nature Trail, Black Ridge - Alcove Nature Trailhead, Colorado National Monument, Colorado
Alcove Nature Trail - 0.9 miles
Black Ridge - Alcove Nature Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||0.9 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||5,815' - 5,863'|
|Elevation Change:||+48 net gain (+60 total roundtrip evelation gain)|
Alcove Nature Trail - 0.9 Miles Round-Trip
The Alcove Nature Trail is a short trail with over 30 interpretive markers along the way. Each marker identifies a specific characteristic of the Colorado National Monument including the park's flora, fauna, geology and anthropology.
The trail itself runs through a pygmy forest of Juniper and Pinyon Pine trees also showcasing the park's other vegetation such as cheat grass, yucca and mountain mahogany.
A large wall of colorful Entrada Sandstone lines the hike to its terminus, ending in a surreal box canyon with sandstone walls rising 100' around you. Make note of the extremely smooth sandstone walls, sculpted by million of years of erosion. The temperature also immediately drops at least 15 degrees in this part of the nature trail.
The Alcove Nature Trail is highly recommended as the starting point for your exploration of the park. It provides a wealth of useful information sure to enhance your entire experience.
*Be sure to purchase an interpretive pamphlet as it will guide you from marker to marker.
- Interpretive pamphlets are available at the Visitor's Center for a nominal fee, generally fifty cents. They are also available on the trail, just after the trailhead. They are not free.
- Without an interpretive pamphlet, you are sure to miss out on the purpose of this self-guided nature trail, to learn as you go.
- Pets are not permitted on any trail in Colorado National Monument. Never leave pets in your unattended vehicle, as high temperatures can kill pets within minutes. Violators of pet regulations are subject to very severe fines.
- Mountain bikes are not allowed on any trails in Colorado National Monument.
Rules and Regulations
- It is illegal to move, remove, or enter historical artifacts unless explicitly stated. Abide by all current regulations, which are updated on the National Park Service Website.
Directions to Trailhead
The Alcove Nature Trail is located directly across the stree from the Visitor's Center, 4.0 miles from the park's west entrance on Rim Rock Road. Park in the Visitor's Center parking lot and simply walk across the road to the well marked Alcove Nature Trail sign.
East Entrance from Denver Grand Junction: Take Highway I-70 to Grand Junction, and take Exit 31 (Horizon Drive). Follow signs through Grand Junction to the east entrance.
West Entrance from Denver to Fruita: Take Highway I-70 to Exit 19 (Fruita) and go south on Highway 340 to the west entrance, which is approximately four miles from Fruita.
East Entrance From Utah to Grand Junction: Take Highway I-70 to Grand Junction, and take Exit 31 (Horizon Drive). Follow signs through Grand Junction to the east entrance.
West Entrance from Utah to Fruita: Take Highway I-70 to Exit 19 (Fruita) and go south on Highway 340 to the west entrance, which is approximately four miles from Fruita.
Colorado National Monument
Fruita, CO 81521-0001