Colorado National Monument is fairly close to Blue Mesa Ranch, located right next to Grand Junction. This is an excellent day trip when combined with a shopping trip to Grand Junction. The park encompasses 32 miles of an amazingly wild country of sandstone rock formations. This is really the beginning of Utah's red rock country.
There is a 23 mile scenic drive with 19 scenic overlooks and numerous other stopping points. The scenic drive begins in Grand Junction and ends to the west in nearby Fruita. The views of the wind and water sculptured stone is beyond amazing. There is ample place to hike on both marked and unmarked trails. The park is open year-round and offers a visitor's center and campground. For photographers early morning and late evening light is truly spectacular.
Surrounding the park there is much more canyon country that is often over-looked in comparison to Utah. The only real difference is just the state line, with both areas being part of ancient sea beds. Nearby Rattlesnake Canyon has numerous arches. To learn more about the surrounding canyon country inquire at the visitors center in the park.