Serpents Trail and Grand Junction Tours

David Smitherman
5 min readJun 17


Grand Junction, Colorado, USA

On a recent trip to Colorado my wife and I hiked Serpents Trail in the Colorado National Monument and recuperated in nearby Grand Junction. It was a wonderful chance to meet up with family and view the beauty of the wild West.

As you might expect, Serpents Trail is a former winding road about 1.75 miles long with 20 switchbacks, living up to its reputation as the “crookedest road in the world.” It has a steady climb gaining about 770 feet of elevation. Along the way it reveals beautiful sandstone formations and breath taking views of the Grand Valley below.

We walked up and back down, with the return trip being much easier of course, but there is a road to a trailhead at each end so another option is to tag up with friends for a ride back down, or vice versa. Take water, it is a dry desert climate, and a jacket too, as temperatures tend to drop with altitude and as the day nears sunset.

There are many other trails but because our time was limited we chose to take a driving tour through the remaining park area where there were amazing vistas of the surrounding mountains and land formations.

In Grand Junction the street scene on Main Street was a delight. Beautiful walks and landscaping, sculpture and murals, and a variety of restaurants. We stayed for a weekend at one of the hotels there and walked, dined, and enjoyed the beauty of the old downtown.

The sculptures in the downtown area are by local artists with many available for purchase. You can see and read more about this exhibit in my article ‘“Art on the Corner” in Grand Junction Colorado’.

Dining was a delight where we enjoyed good meals from Main Street Bagels, the Bristro 317, and in addition to good food we got a big laugh at the restroom sign in the Cafe Sol. Yep, there is no telling what you might run into out in the wild wild west.

Our travel from Huntsville Alabama to Grand Junction Colorado was on American Airlines through Dallas to Grand Junction where we rented a car for the weekend. Alternate airline routes through Denver are also available but American had the largest aircraft flying into the Grand Junction Regional Airport.

If you have the opportunity, check out the beauty of the Colorado National Monument, and Main Street in Grand Junction. It was good to see new sites in the wild west and spend some time with family.

Notes and References:

Story and photographs by David Smitherman.

Serpents Trail in the Colorado National Monument:

Colorado National Monument:

“Art on the Corner” in Grand Junction Colorado:

Maps are from Google Maps and the National Park Service.



David Smitherman

Retired architect and space architect from NASA. Married with a growing family. Currently into travel, historical architecture, photography and genealogy.