Leg 7: Vail to Salt Lake City, UT
Grand Junction, CO
About the Route
Just about 15 miles out of Grand Junction and 2 miles south of I-70 is the West Entrance to Colorado National Monument. The CNM contains canyons as deep as 500 feet and rock monoliths as tall as 450 feet, with amazing sunset-hued views of western Colorado. Rim Rock Drive offers 23 miles of excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery while spotting abundant wildlife such as coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, bighorn sheep, foxes, and other species.
Hitting the highway into Utah, be prepared for more desert terrain and opportunities to get out of the car to check out widereaching views. From Wellington, Utah, you can access Nine Mile Canyon, which is actually a 70-mile-long route of 55 million year-old rock formations, prehistoric petroglyphs and abundant rock art sculptures from 1200 A.D. and earlier. Tours of Nine Mile Canyon are entirely self guided, so ensure you fill the gas tank and take plenty of water and food for your road trip through the incredible landscape.
Side Trips & Must Do
Colorado National Monument, Nine Mile Canyon
Foods You Must Try
Utah is the Beehive State, so pick up some honey products for spreading on Utah scones. Kraft claims Utah residents eat more Jell-O per capita than those of any other U.S. state, particularly enjoying lime green as their resident favorite. If you can’t find Jell-O on a menu, pick up some from a convenience store and tip your spoon to the sunset over the desert.