Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Monument from Top to Bottom | Black Ridge Loop
Saturday & Sunday, March 28-29, 2015

After completing a traverse across the face of the Colorado National Monument last year I decided that I wanted to put together a longer loop through the Monument to hike this year. The route I strung together begins at the Kodels Canyon trailhead outside of the Monument near Fruita and climbs up the historic Fruita Dugway trail where it connects with the Black Ridge Trail. The Black Ridge trail is the highest trail in the Colorado National Monument topping out at just over 6,700 feet. Since the trailhead is at about 4,700 feet, this route ascends over 2,000 feet of elevation gain while climbing from the lower part of the Monument to the higher part. After following the Black Ridge Trail to it’s end at the Upper Liberty Cap trailhead we would then follow the entire Liberty Cap trail back down to the Wildwood trailhead. Since this route is about 18 miles in length, I thought it would make a nice overnight backpacking trip so that we could take our time and spend a night in the Monument. I stopped by the Visitor’s Center on Friday and picked up a backcountry camping permit so that we could start the hike bright and early on Saturday morning.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

After work on Monday I headed up to the west side of the Colorado National Monument so I could scout a few sections of trail for a longer hike I have planned for this weekend. After hiking parts of the Fruita Dugway and Black Ridge Trail I stopped at Grand View to catch a spectacular sunset. Here are a few photos from my short evening outing.

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Saturday & Sunday, March 21-22, 2015

After spending the last two weekends close to home in the Grand Valley it was time to head back over the state line into Utah for an overnight camping trip near the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. We left home bright and early on Saturday morning and drove through Moab and Indian Creek Canyon on our way to Davis Canyon, where we setup camp just outside of the park.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

On Sunday morning Diane and I headed into the Colorado National Monument for a short and steep sunrise hike. Recently Diane had mentioned to me that she wanted to climb to the top of The Island which is between Monument Canyon and Wedding Canyon. It had been a few years since I was up there and I was definitely interested in hiking it again, especially since we were going to catch a sunrise on the way. We made it to the Lower Monument Canyon Trailhead about 45 minutes before sunrise and were the first vehicle in the parking lot. We started hiking in the dark and followed the rim on the southeast side of The Island over Monument Canyon so we would have a good view as the sun came up.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

I stayed home this weekend so I could work on a large photo project that I need to get done soon, but when Saturday afternoon rolled around I was tired of staring at a computer screen and had to get out hiking somewhere. It’s a good thing that I live close to a lot of trails and amazing scenery here in the Grand Valley! I had no plans, so I decided to explore the East Fork of Pollock Canyon since I had looked down into it from the Pollock Bench a few weekends ago and thought it would be a nice area to explore.

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