Go Play: Hike Devils Kitchen on Colorado National Monument | PostIndependent.com

Go Play: Hike Devils Kitchen on Colorado National Monument

Brittany Markert
The trail starts out on smooth terrain and wide enough to accomodate many hikers coming and going.
Brittany Markert / bmarkert@gjfreepress.com | Free Press


WHAT: Devils Kitchen hike

WHERE: From the east entrance of Colorado National Monument, travel less than a quarter mile. Limited parking is on the left. For additional parking, turn right into the Devils Kitchen Picnic Area. The trailhead is shared with two other trails: No Thoroughfare Canyon Trail and Old Gordon Trail.

WHEN: Throughout the year

COST: $10 per car; $25 for annual pass

DISTANCE: .75 miles one way

INFO: http://www.nps.gov/colm

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.Colorado National Monument offers more than 50 miles of hiking trails with distances varying a half mile to 14 miles. One of the shorter, easier hikes is Devils Kitchen. It features a steady climb up to large sandstone monoliths. The hike totals around 1.5 miles round trip.

After paying at the ranger station on the east end of the monument near Grand Junction, visitors will find parking shortly after the entrance, about a quarter mile up the road. Available parking may be scarce during warmer weather and weekends. It’s suggested to visit the area during non-peak hours for closer parking.

Once parked, the trailhead is on the east side of the road. It is also the trailhead for No Thoroughfare Canyon, Old Gordon Trail and Echo Canyon.

Signs will point hikers right towards Devils Kitchen. The hike will gradually climb from that point on smooth, wide trail.

Another fork in the road will bring hikers left for Devils Kitchen (right heads to No Thoroughfare Canyon). Follow the path until it turns into sandstone. Stairs will lead hikers up more rock. Cairns help guide hikers up the sandstone, although it seems other hikers have made a few that took this author off the path a bit, so be cautious of where the trail leads. If you continue on dirt path, it has led you the wrong way. The trail will switch back on the sandstone and eventually lead you to more etched-in stairs.

The trail leads hikers towards monoliths and into a cave-like area where it is fun to explore.

Natural windows allow hikers to see beyond the monoliths and into the valley below.

Once done exploring, hikers can descend the same way them came.

The hike can be easily done by adults and children and isn’t strenuous. Even with a full parking lot, Devils Kitchen seemed rather empty. It’s recommended to bring a bottle of water, a camera and maybe even a picnic to enjoy in the “kitchen.”

For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/colm.

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