Alcove Nature Trail

Colorado National Monument

Colorado Plateau, Colorado

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Alcove Nature Trail


  • The trail guide provides interesting facts for the numbered trail markers.- Alcove Nature Trail
  • Rock formations are close to the trail.- Alcove Nature Trail
  • The trail includes an ancient sand dune.- Alcove Nature Trail
  • A tree thrives in a challenging environment.- Alcove Nature Trail
  • A hiker walks between rock formations on Alcove Nature Trail.- Alcove Nature Trail
  • The effects of erosion are seen in artistic natural sculptures.- Alcove Nature Trail
  • Watch for small creatures like this Jerusalem cricket.- Alcove Nature Trail
  • The trail leads to a beautiful, small box canyon.- Alcove Nature Trail
Overview + Weather
Interesting features. Nature guide with unusual facts.
Colorado Plateau, CO
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
92.00 ft (28.04 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,794.00 ft (1,766.01 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

A red-rock playground for outdoor adventurers, Colorado National Monument offers a multitude of ways to enjoy its scenic wonders.

Hikers can choose from over 45 miles of maintained trails ranging from 0.25 miles to over 14 miles. Take the Canyon Rim Trail for great canyon views, wander along the Ute Garden Interpretive Trail for an educational excursion, or choose the family-friendly Alcove Nature Trail.

Alcove Nature Trail is conveniently located directly across Rim Rock Drive from the Saddlehorn Visitor Center. Be sure to get a detailed trail guide at the trailhead or at the visitor center. The guide includes information about local plants and animals, plus fun facts like why Native Americans used juniper tree bark for diapers. It's also fascinating to learn that you’re walking into the middle of an ancient sand dune.

Be sure to stay on the trail; footprints can destroy the biological soil crust that takes decades to form.

Rugged sandstone cliffs and dramatic rock features enticed John Otto to use pick and shovel to create hiking trails when he arrived here in 1906. Because he championed this unique place, visitors have opportunities for adventure here. He wrote editorials, collected petition signatures and sent letters to politicians advocating for a national park. In 1911, President William Taft established Colorado National Monument, preserving this wondrous place for all adventurers.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(22 within a 30 mile radius)

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