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Tag: saddlehorn

Snow Day at The Monument

Rediscovering the Colorado National Monument #2
Sunday, January 6, 2019

This weekend Diane and I stayed home and took it easy, but we did take some time on Sunday afternoon to visit the west side of the Colorado National Monument for a couple of hours during a snowstorm. We drove a snow-packed Rim Rock Drive to its closure gate at the Independence Monument Viewpoint and stopped to take a few photos along the way. We only saw a handful of other vehicles up there braving the winter road conditions. I was hoping to hike a few of the shorter trails along the rim of Wedding Canyon near the Visitor Center in the snow, but once we got up into the Monument we found that the clouds were low and there was no view into the canyons. I didn’t want to hike those trails with no views, so we decided to skip them and only hiked the Alcove Nature Trail this time. I think the last time I hiked this short trail was almost ten years ago, so it was nice to finally revisit it.

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An Afternoon at The Monument

Sunday, January 7, 2018

If you saw this post over on my mircoBLOG, you’ll know that my weekend didn’t go quite as planned. Since I came home early on Saturday night I decided to sleep in late on Sunday morning and had no plans to do anything for the rest of the day. However, in the early afternoon I noticed that a winter storm was going to be breaking up over the Grand Valley, so I headed over to the Colorado National Monument to see if I could take some photos. I was hoping there would be some cool atmospherics like during this visit to The Monument (I can’t believe that was almost five years ago!), but that would not happen this time.

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Colorado National Monument Photos

Thursday, September 22, 2016

After work I grabbed my hiking gear and started heading out to Rabbit Valley so I could hike to another summit in Mesa County, but as I was driving west on I-70 I noticed the sky was much cloudier and darker out that direction and I was concerned about the weather I would encounter. It appeared that the edge of the storm system moving through the area was over Fruita and Grand Junction and it looked like I’d have better luck closer to town this evening. So when I reached the Fruita exit I decided to get off and head up into the Colorado National Monument instead. The clouds and sky were nice for a few photos during my drive through the western portion of the park, plus I still got a little hiking and exploring in. Here’s a few photos from the evening.

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Rim Rock Drive

Sunday, October 18, 2015

For most of the day we had an overcast sky with the occasional light rain shower here in the Grand Valley, but as it got later in the afternoon the clouds started to break up a bit and the chances of a nice sunset were looking good. I decided to head out with my camera and take a drive through the Colorado National Monument on Rim Rock Drive so I could take a few photos from the overlooks until sunset. The late afternoon light breaking through the clouds turned out to be pretty nice at times. When I reached the Book Cliffs View near the Visitor’s Center and campground I decided to finally climb to the summit of Saddlehorn (5,770) nearby. It was a short and easy climb, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and am happy that I can finally cross it off my list. Here are a few photos from my evening along Rim Rock Drive.

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Colorado National Monument Traverse II

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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