Rim Rock Drive Overlooks

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I was originally planning to hike Flume Canyon near Fruita this morning when I left my house shortly after sunrise, but the unusual clouds in the sky and beautiful light in the canyons of the northern end of the Uncompahgre Plateau made me change my mind. Instead, I drove up into the Colorado National Monument and spent the morning taking photos from the overlooks along Rim Rock Drive.

A view back towards Chalk Mountain and the Grand Mesa after entering the Monument on Rim Rock Drive below. Bright green cottonwood trees light up in the bottom of No Thoroughfare Canyon.

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Grand Junction Entrance by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking up No Thoroughfare Canyon. It sure looks a lot different when it’s not overcast and raining!

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No Thoroughfare Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Interesting clouds over my Jeep.

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Edge of the Storm by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The first main overlook I stopped at was Cold Shivers Point.

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Cold Shivers Point Sign by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great views over Columbus Canyon and Red Canyon from here with the wall of clouds over the Grand Valley and Book Cliffs.

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Cold Shivers Point by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Red Canyon Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Below the Overlook by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A little further down the road I pulled over for a shot down Columbus Canyon.

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Columbus Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A nice view down the very straight Red Canyon.

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Red Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I recently hiked through Ute Canyon with Diane, but it’s been a while since I’d stopped at the main overlook.

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Ute Canyon Sign by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I loved the clouds over this beautiful canyon.

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Ute Canyon Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The upper reaches of Ute Canyon just below Suction Point.

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Upper Ute Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Following Rim Rock Drive to the next overlook.

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Road Cut by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A nice view of the Coke Ovens from Artists Point.

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Coke Ovens Panorama by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Another view a little further down the road.

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Coke Ovens Below by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The upper reaches of Monument Canyon from the short Coke Ovens Overlook trail.

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Upper Reaches by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I made sure to stop at the always spectacular Monument Canyon overlook.

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Monument Canyon Sign by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A panoramic image of the view from here.

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Monument Canyon Panorama by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Love the layers in this photo.

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Monument Canyon Layers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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On the Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It’s been a while since I stopped at Grand View for this spectacular view down Wedding Canyon.

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Wedding Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Island and Independence Monument across from Grand View.

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Grand View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Independence Monument towers above the Grand Valley.

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Independence Monument by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Canyon Wall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After visiting many of the typical overlooks, I needed to get off the beaten path and wanted to check out a short slot canyon I came across a few years back.

Hiking up the canyon to the little slot.

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Canyon Hiking by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice reflected light as the canyon narrowed.

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Slot Entrance by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Entering the short slot canyon.

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Short Slot Canyonjpg by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It ends at this tall and narrow dry waterfall.

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Slot Pourover by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

More reflected light on my way back out.

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Slot Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I made a quick stop at the Fruita Canyon Overlook.

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Fruita Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before leaving the park I hiked a short section of the Fruita Dugway, this time in better weather.

While hiking in the rain a few weeks ago I came across this tree in a large alcove. The light wasn’t good that day, but I knew I wanted to return.

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Alcove Tree by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Switchback Canyon Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking down on Rim Rock Drive towards Fruita and the Book Cliffs.

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Rim Rock Drive by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice clouds over the old Fruita Dugway from the Historic Trails View.

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Fruita Dugway by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Rim Rock Drive Overlooks Photo Gallery


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