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June 7, 2012
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Colorado National Monument hosts a fee-free Saturday

Locals and visitors can play without paying at the Colorado National Monument Saturday. Why? It's National Get Outdoors Day! All entrance fees, including fees for commercial tours, are being waived. So, hike, bike, picnic or just gaze at the spectacular scenery this weekend.

"It's a good way to educate your kids about a beautiful area," McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area Katie Stevens said.

McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area is also participating in the event, though it doesn't charge visitor entrance fees for its use. It consists of 123,430 acres of BLM land near Grand Junction.

National Get Outdoors day began as a countrywide push; its aim to encourage everyone to spend a day outside in nature.

Colorado National Monument's fee-free day will offer a variety of free ranger-led programs: A 9 a.m. stroll with a ranger along the Canyon Rim Trail or the Alcove Nature Trail; a 10 a.m. historical talk about the Monument's colorful history; an 11 a.m. "Join a Ranger" chat featuring information on a variety of topics; a 2 p.m. talk about the Monument's geologic story; and a 3 p.m. ranger chat about Monument wildlife and plants. These activities all start from the Visitor Center.

Other free events include: A 6 p.m. "Music on the Monument" Centennial Band concert from the Devil's Kitchen Picnic Area; and a "Saturday Nights with a Ranger" program starting from the Book Cliffs View overlook.

Other upcoming fee-free days include National Public Lands Day Sept. 29, and Veterans Day weekend Nov. 10-12.

To learn more about fee-free days, visit

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The Post Independent Updated Jun 7, 2012 06:29PM Published Jun 7, 2012 06:27PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.