panoramic view from Window Rock, Colorado National Monument in winter

Window Rock Loop

“I discovered windows one afternoon and after that, nothing was ever the same.”
Anne Spollen, The Shape of Water

This particular trail is one of the easiest, shortest, and most spectacular in the Colorado National Monument.

The railings are marked “DANGER! Do Not Cross” and from them you can lean out into the nothingness, 400 feet of Wingate sandstone cliffs beneath you.

Or at least you think they are.

Hope they at window rock viewpoint looking down into wedding and lizard canyons in winter

Window Rock it’s self is not unique to the monument. Rather, most of the buttresses that are on the Grand Valley side have been carved out just below the Kayenta formation cap, revealing daylight through the expanding cracks beneath them.

This one just happens to be large enough to be named.

We took 3 kids: two of mine and one of a friend. The snow had melted and refrozen and the kids were able to trot along the top of it without leaving much of a footprint [and if you look carefully, you can see the area was trodden before by a large, wild cat.]


After reaching the point where you can look down and across the ‘window’, we headed along the cliff toward Bookcliff Shelter [which is on the National Historic Registry].

We found several things of interest:

○ a natural ‘picnic table’two children sitting on the edge of wedding canyon in winter window rock trail bookcliff view shelter colorado national monument

○ a boulder on the edge, looking like it was about to slip to it’s doom

○ a tree, framing Monument Canyonjuniper tree framing the view of monument and wedding canyon in winter with snow

○ a dry and decaying corpse of some poor rodent [I’m guessing rabbit], whose bones were delicate and bleached by the sunstratified layers of sandstone on the rim of monument canyon colorado national monument

Upon reaching the shelter, the kids enjoyed reading more about the valley below them, memorizing the names of the formations.

It was a very pleasant .6 of a mile. Kids reading about monument canyon in winter colorado national monument Matt Janson at window rock in winter looking toward fruita

Matt enjoying the view. panoramic view from Window Rock, Colorado National Monument in winter

A little pano action.Wedding canyon in winter colorado national monument

A backlit Wedding Canyonwindow rock in winter

Looking down through Window Rock.children on the edge of wedding canyon

Boys playing on the ‘frame’