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If you only have time for a short jaunt in Colorado National Monument, the Devils Kitchen Trail provides the best bang-for-your-buck.
At only 3/4 of a mile long, the route feels adventurous as it wends its way through sandy washes and over slickrock with views scattered everywhere. Trails in Colorado National Monument are well-signed, but still a bit confusing as to which way to go sometimes.
For this short-but-sweet trek, all you need to know is head right at the first trail split, and left at the second. On a weekday in December, it is quite possible to have this little treasure to yourself, and the temps will be much more enjoyable than in the heat of summer! Since the actual mileage is short at 1.5 miles roundtrip, enjoy every step of it, including the lovely steps carved into the slickrock as you approach Devils Kitchen.
Once at the base of the “Kitchen,” which is actually a huge circle of giant rocks perched up high, go around it to the left to enter the opening. This is a wonderful hike to do with kids: it is short, interesting and provides lots of opportunities to play on the rocks or crawl into small caves, then slide out.
Have them look for rabbits en route to the Devils Kitchen; often they are hopping everywhere! The trailhead is less than 1/4 of a mile past the Monument's East Entrance, just outside Grand Junction on Rimrock Drive.
This trailhead also provides access to No Thoroughfare Canyon Trail and Old Gordon Trail with Serpents Trail across the road.