Sunday, September 15, 2013
On Thursday evening my friend Lisa contacted me to let me know she was taking a last minute trip to the Colorado National Monument this weekend and she wanted to see if I was available to go hiking on Sunday morning. It just so happened that I planned to be home all this weekend and was planning on hiking around the Monument already. We planned to meet up on Sunday morning and hike Monument Canyon from top to bottom. It has been a few years since I hiked the full canyon and I was looking forward to it. We met at the lower trailhead at 8:00am, left her car there and then took my Jeep up to the upper trailhead.
As we were driving through the Monument to the trailhead we noticed some nice light and clouds, so we had to stop for a few photos along the way.
Nice clouds over the Grand Valley from the Historic Trails viewpoint.
I loved the light on the fields visible from Distant View this morning.
Great clouds over the monoliths in Monument Canyon.
A wider view which includes The Island.
Looking back up the trail after descending from Rim Rock Drive into Monument Canyon.
Looking back at the Coke Ovens.
The upper reaches of Monument Canyon.
Towering sandstone all around us.
Lisa hiking ahead of me towards the Kissing Couple.
A nice view towards Window Rock from near the base of Independence Monument.
Looking back towards Independence Monument as we descend further down the canyon.
Shortly after spotting a large group of desert bighorn sheep down by the wash (I didn’t have my long lens with me, so no photos of them), we spotted three gray foxes on an outcropping of rock near the trail. Two of them ran off before I could get my camera ready, but this one stuck around long enough for me to get a shot of. I’ve never seen a fox in the Monument before today.
Nice light on the sandstone cliffs of The Island.
One last view of Independence Monument before we left the mouth of the canyon and finished the hike back to the trailhead.