National Monuments: A Hidden Gem

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National Monuments sometimes get the short end of the stick.  They are usually overlooked or ignored in place of their big brothers, the National Parks.  It’s sad too, because they ROCK!  Since 1906, the government has created over 100 National Monuments.

One of the reasons that we love them is that they are SIMPLE!  Most of them have a small visitors center accompanied by a few trails or a campground.  We love to stop in at them along roadtrips.  Instead of feeling like we need to spend a week there, like we would at Yosemite or Yellowstone, we can see a good chunk of it during a day.  Another reason that Monuments are so great is that crowds are RARE.  We rarely see big crowds when we visit them.  One of our favorite Monuments to visit is Colorado National Monument.  It’s right between our house and where both our families live in Utah.  It makes for a fantastic mid-trip stop where everyone can get their wiggles out.  We like to stop, have a picnic, and then go for a little hike.  We leave with full stomachs, tired kids, and thrilled about all the things we are able to see.

With only 9 weeks until the end of May (what, aren’t all of you counting down to my due date too?) now’s a fantastic time to pencil in on your calendar, a weekend trip to a National Monument.  They’re a simple way to show your family some of the great things our country has to offer!

1 thought on “National Monuments: A Hidden Gem”

  1. Thank you for mentioning CNM! As a nearby neighbor to “the Monument” I often find it sad that more people don’t realize the amazing places that carry the Monument label. So often everyone focuses on Parks, without realizing that Monument’s are also part of the Park Service. The primary difference is actually how these parks are formed. National Parks require Congressional approval, Monuments can be formed directly by the President. In 1911, Congress was reluctant to create a park in a vast, unknown, largely unpopulated part of Colorado. Local businesspeople and an odd hermit named John Otto convinced President Taft to create the CNM! The Monument just celebrated its 100th birthday and we are forever thankful to our 27th President!

    Now that I know you enjoy visiting, let us know next time and we’ll meet you there!

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