Rim Rock Drive

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Rim Rock Drive Historic District
Rim Rock Drive view.jpg
Rim Rock Drive is located in Colorado
Rim Rock Drive
Rim Rock Drive is located in the United States
Rim Rock Drive
Nearest cityGrand Junction, Colorado
Coordinates39°3′25″N 108°42′4″W / 39.05694°N 108.70111°W / 39.05694; -108.70111Coordinates: 39°3′25″N 108°42′4″W / 39.05694°N 108.70111°W / 39.05694; -108.70111
Architectural styleOther
MPSColorado National Monument MPS
NRHP reference #94000310
Added to NRHPApril 21, 1994[1]

Rim Rock Drive is a scenic road in Colorado National Monument. The 23-mile drive follows the upper rim of a series of canyons, extending from the vicinity of Fruita, Colorado in the west to near Grand Junction, Colorado in the east, connecting points only eight miles apart in a straight line. The entire road has been designated a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

Rim Rock Drive cliff

The routing of the road was determined in November 1931 by National Park Service Engineer Thomas W. Secrest during a visit to the monument.

The detailed design for the road was developed in 1932 by the National Park Service Branch of Engineering and Branch of Plans and Design for maximum scenic impact, using the National Park Service Rustic style. Most of the road was constructed with almost entirely manual labor by labor from the Works Progress Administration, Public Works Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps, and represents one of the most significant Depression-era public projects. Extensive drilling and blasting was required, and three tunnels were bored.[2] Work was suspended by the Second World War from 1942 to 1948, and was finally completed in 1950.[3] At its height, the project employed more than 800 men.[4]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Rim Rock Drive". List of Classified Structures. National Park Service. 2008-12-12.
  3. ^ "From the Past Into the Future: Building Rim Rock Drive". Colorado National Monument Association. 2008-12-12.
  4. ^ R. Laurie Simmons, Thomas H. Simmons and Kathy McKoy (January 1994). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Rim Rock Drive" (pdf). National Park Service.

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