If enjoying Colorado National Monument is a vacation in your own backyard; then heading to Arches National Park is like visiting your next door neighbor.
Grand Junction residents live in a beautiful geological neighborhood referred to as the Colorado Plateau. Who needs an appointment to drop in on their neighbors? Several National Parks are close enough for day trips: Arches, Canyonlands, Black Canyon, even Dinosaur National Monument. Others, Like Mesa Verde, Bryce Canyon or Zion are accessible with a bit of overnight planning.
In a couple of hours and under one hundred miles, you can visit your nearest National Park neighbor to the west, Arches National Park. While the most direct route to Arches may be Interstate 70 until it connects with Highway 191; the most scenic plan is to leave Interstate 70 at Danish Flats and take Highway 128 toward Cisco, past Fisher Towers and on to Moab.
Once arrived at Arches National Monument, there are other things to see in addition to red rock arches. Wonderful petroglyphs are displayed a short walk beyond the historic Wolfe cabin.
The popular hike to Delicate Arch provides numerous grand photo opportunities with breathtaking views. Parking is difficult to come by during the busy season. Both the roads and trails are crowded. Summertime can be hot. Spring and fall might be better times to visit. Any season, you’ll be glad you carried an extra bottle of water. You’ll also be glad you decided to be neighborly and call on your next door neighbor in the National Parks System.