Grand Junction, CO: Liberty Cap - Backpacker

Grand Junction, CO: Liberty Cap

Wind across vibrant landscapes cut dramatically by sheer-walled canyons and rising plateaus to a sandstone monolith in Colorado National Monument.
Publish date:

-Mapped by Garryck Hampton

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 10.8



Location: 39.0556297302246, -108.736801147461

From gravel parking area, head E on Liberty Cap Trail for easy stretch


Location: 39.0520782470703, -108.732902526855

Cruise along fl at-topped Monument Mesa, a grassy plateau speckled with stubby junipers and fragrant piñon pines


Location: 39.0546684265137, -108.713401794434

Trail drops to S; this is home to one of the few remaining native herds of desert bighorn sheep, so keep an eye out


Location: 39.0569000244141, -108.698196411133

Gentle NE descent. Constant panorama of layered, red-walled canyons and towering rock spires


Location: 39.0623397827148, -108.69270324707

Continue mesa top traverse to the E


Location: 39.0610809326172, -108.682403564453

Reddish canyon hues contrast with dark-green piñon and juniper; head NE, then SE to reach Liberty Cap


Location: 39.0572395324707, -108.668182373047

Liberty Cap: This 160-million-year-old fossilized sand dune resembles headwear of freed slaves in ancient Rome. Leave mesa rim; begin switchback descent to the NW


Location: 39.059700012207, -108.670700073242

Trail zigs back to E; ahead, continue rocky descent into Grand Valley


Location: 39.0588760375977, -108.66756439209

Turn L @ T; head N down the slopes of a grassy bench


Location: 39.0674629211426, -108.664085388184

Last stretch is mellow and heads NE through golden grasslands


Location: 39.0680770874023, -108.660301208496

Trail ends @ gravel parking lot. Shuttle back or retrace steps to trailhead

Red-walled canyons

Location: 39.0569305419922, -108.6982421875

©Garryck Hampton

Canyon wall

Location: 39.0597953796387, -108.670631408691

©Garryck Hampton

Mesa top views

Location: 39.0610656738281, -108.682495117188

©Garryck Hampton

Liberty Cap

Location: 39.0572242736816, -108.668243408203

©Garryck Hampton

Monument Mesa

Location: 39.0673637390137, -108.663986206055

©Garryck Hampton

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