Saturday, September 14, 2013
I’ve seen The Island sticking up between Wedding Canyon and Monument Canyon for many years while photographing the Colorado National Monument from the overlooks along Rim Rock Drive. You can see The Island across the canyon in the photo below taken earlier this year from Grand View.
For a long time I’ve wanted to hike up there but never seemed to get around to it. I decided to change that this weekend. I was originally planning on hiking up there this morning with my friend Jackson, but when I woke up it was raining pretty hard out so we cancelled the hike. Later in the afternoon the rain had stopped for a while and I was ready to get out of the house and get some hiking in, so I decided to hike up there on my own. There was still a good chance of rain, but I only got sprinkled on a few times during the hike. The heavier rain managed to miss me. There is no trail up to the top of The Island, so I was on my own as far as route-finding went. I stayed along the rim on the Monument Canyon side so I could enjoy the views and the hiking along the edge was pretty easy most of the way. It was a very enjoyable off-trail hike close to town.
Following the rim of The Island as I hiked to the top. You can see the Monument Canyon trail below.
As I followed the rim I could hear the normally dry wash flowing down below from all the rain we’ve been getting recently.
Nice light on the sandstone cliffs that make up the face of the Monument.
The view up Monument Canyon with water flowing down the wash.
As I neared the point of This Island I was treated to views down into Wedding Canyon on the other side.
Nice view of Monument Mesa across the canyon. If you look closely you can spot Mushroom Rock.
The very point of The Island overlooking Independence Monument.
Looking back from the end of the point.
Here’s a quick panorama I made showing the top of The Island. Wedding Canyon is on the left, Monument Canyon is on the right, and the Grand Valley and Book Cliffs are straight ahead. Click on the photo for a larger version on Flickr.
One more view of Monument Mesa and Monument Canyon as I started my hike back down.
I followed the rim most of the way back down.
I really enjoyed this hike since there were some nice but different views of familiar canyons and it was great to find plenty of solitude close to home.