Coast-to-Coast Road Trip

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Colorado National Monument | Photo by Matt Inden/Miles | Colorado.com | Coast-to-Coast Road Trip | Roulez Magazine
The rock formations of Colorado National Monument | Photo by Matt Inden/Miles | Colorado.com

Leg 7: Vail to Salt Lake City, UT

Pass Through

Grand Junction, CO

Approximate Miles

435

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.

Helpful Websites

VisitGrandJunction.com, Utah.com, CastleCountry.com

Castle Country Utah | Coast-to-Coast Road Trip | Roulez Magazine
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About Author

Kimberly Toms is a freelance writer, filmmaker, habitual road tripper and lover of all things travel. Life as a digital marketing and eCommerce consultant has allowed for pursuit of these poorly paying arts and hobbies, while life beyond the office continually beckoned to "get yer ass back on the road and into the wilderness." The wilderness is most often where you can find her. Check out more of Kimberly's work: Roulez Media | Escaping Fed | A Documentary Film | Hero Film Festival & Awards | KimberlyToms.com Find her on: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | AdAge Amp | Pinterest

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