National and State Register

Serpents Trail

Mesa County

Constructed between 1912 and 1921, Serpents Trail provided the only automobile access to Colorado National Monument until 1937 when the Fruita Canyon portion of Rim Rock Drive opened.  Serpents Trail reflects engineering techniques used in the construction of early automobile roads in difficult terrain and was specifically designed to optimize the scenery of the park.

A photo in black and white of a path surrounded by some cacti and rock structures on the right.

Serpents Trail

John Otto, the original booster of the park’s scenic wonders and the custodian of Colorado National Monument from 1911 to 1927, designed the original route and was involved in its sporadic construction.  The project also provided access to the Glade Park region, and local engineers and citizens contributed to its construction and funding.  Serpents Trail now functions as a 1.6 mile foot trail.  Listed under Colorado National Monument and the Historic Park Landscapes in National and State Parks Resources Multiple Property Submissions.