Colorado National Monument waives fees Tuesday

Walk the trails of the Monument during a fee-free day.

With the official start of summer mere hours away, it’s time to lace up those hiking boots, fill up the canteen and head up to the Colorado National Monument. Oh, and you can leave the wallet behind.

In an effort to encourage people to spend more time in the great outdoors, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has ordered Tuesday, June 21 be recognized as a fee-free day at America’s national park areas. Luckily for visitors and residents of the Grand Valley, the Colorado National Monument is included in the list of over 100 parks waiving the fees.

As part of the fee-free day, the Colorado National Monument will offer educational programs to patrons.

The first event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. as visitors are lead on a guided walk along Alcove Trail. The hour-long hike will focus on plant life in and around the Colorado National Monument and how the vegetation survives in such an extreme environment.

The fun continues with a 3 p.m. “Porch Talk” in the Visitor Center. Patrons will explore the history of desert bighorn sheep in the area and their fight from near-extinction to a now-flourishing population.

The day wraps up at 6 p.m. with a “Looking for Amphibians” tour lead by Ranger Briana Board. This family-fun hike into No Thoroughfare Canyon will focus on the lizards that call the Colorado National Monument home. The 2.4 mile hike will begin from the Devil’s Kitchen Picnic Area and will take approximately two hours to complete.

During the fee-free day, all items in the Colorado National Monument Association Bookstore located in the Visitor Center will be 10 percent off the original retail price.

Entry fees for national park areas will also be waived on National Public Lands Day on Sept. 24 and on Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 11-13.


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