Otto’s Trail, Colorado National Monument, Colorado

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Colorado National Monument rises above the cities of Fruita and Grand Junction, Colorado, a plateau above the plains. Rim Rock road winds through the monument, passing beautiful rock formations on every side. The entire 23 mile loop is popular with cyclists, but my tots and I weren’t there to ride – we wanted to hike.

I was impressed with the number of kid friendly hiking options (short and flat) in Colorado National Monument. The first trail we chose was just one mile east of the Visitor’s Center. Otto’s Trail is a fun, quick hike to a beautiful overlook area of Pipe Organ and Independence Monument rock formations. My tots and I were there along with my old friend and author Renee Collins. The wild west setting in her debut novel Relic was inspired by the desolate beauty of Colorado National Monument.

The hike was only half a mile there and back. The only difficult part of the trail was that near the overlook area, if you or your tots stray too far off the trail you’ll drop off a cliff and plummet dangerously to the rocks below, you are walking on the top of a plateau after all.

When we reached that area, Big E refused to hold my hand, of course, but instead of tying him to me, like I wanted to do, I tried to trust that my four year old would know enough to stay away from the edge. Little g was more easily managed since I could pick her up and haul her myself.

Otto’s Trail in Colorado National Monument was fun, quick and relatively painless. Plus the views at the end were amazing.

Otto’s Trail Info:
Length: 0.5 miles round trip
Time: 45 minutes, less without tots
Tips: Don’t let your kids fall off the edge.

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Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

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