Ute Garden Trail is a family friendly trail that has two things going for it. First, and most important, it has an incredible view of Ute Canyon. Second, Ute Garden Trail showcases a lot of the vegetation that is located in Colorado National Monument. Go for the view. Like many of the spots on the park road the views are awe-inspiring and Ute Canyon is right up there with the best. The overlook is a short .3 miles from the parking area. If you a little tired at gazing at scenic beauty which is found throughout the monument, then bypass Ute Garden Trail and look for more adventurous alternatives on some of the longer park trails.
I also found that the trail is great for parents with young children. Every time my daughter and I go for a walk it is like playing a game of 20 questions. I do the best that I can. Though it would be nice that if our walks came with informative placards. Ute Garden Trail would be the perfect trail for us. It gives a nice overview of the vegetation that can be found inside the monument. Easy to read signs filled with all sorts of information. It also proved to be a decent birding spot. I saw more small birds with a larger variety here then I did at any of the other overlooks or short trails I did. I found it to be a nice trail for that inquisitive youth and the parent that tries to provide answers.
There is so much to see or do at Colorado National Monument. So the Ute Garden Trail might not be the best use of your time. It really depends on your interests and ability. If you are looking for an easy trail to get out of the car, but don’t want to walk very far. This trail will get the job done. It is also a great trail to learn some tidbits about the ecology of the area. I enjoyed it but I like to learn about the things I see when I am out and about. The view of Ute canyon was inspiring, and the next time I am out on a walk with my little girl in the southwest. I will be a little bit more prepared to answer inexhaustible line of questions. So I found this trail a win-win for me, but it will not be for everybody.
Ute Garden Interpretive Trail
Located in Colorado National Monument
.3 mile RT, easy trail
For more information about Colorado National Monument visit http://www.nps.gov/colm/index.htm
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