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Wedding Canyon Loop 2019

Rediscovering the Colorado National Monument #1
New Year’s Day | Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year! This year Diane and I woke up early on New Year’s Day and headed over to the Colorado National Monument so we could hike the Wedding Canyon Loop at sunrise like we do almost every year. We arrived shortly before sunrise and were the first vehicle at the Monument Canyon Trailhead. When we started hiking the temperature out was in the single digits and the early morning dawn light was just beginning to illuminate the landscape. There was fresh snow on the trail from a big snowstorm the previous day, but there wasn’t quite as much snow on the ground here as there was at our house. We watched the clouds change color as we made our way to the mouth of Wedding Canyon and then hiked up the canyon to Independence Monument, which is the halfway point of the loop. From there we followed the lower Monument Canyon Trail back down to the trailhead making a complete loop around The Island. As usual, it was a great way to start the new year, even though it was cold out!

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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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Wedding Canyon Loop 2018

New Year’s Day | Monday, January 1, 2018

After going on my last hike of 2017 the previous day, it was now time for me to go on my very first hike of 2018! I woke up early on Monday morning and drove over to the Lower Monument Canyon Trailhead in the Colorado National Monument so I could hike the Wedding Canyon Loop. This is one of my favorite hikes in the Monument and one I recommend to anyone who asks me about hiking in the area. Hiking this loop on New year’s Day has become somewhat of a tradition for me the past couple of years, and I wanted to keep that up. Plus, it’s just a great way to start off the new year close to home!

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Circling The Island

New Year’s Day | Sunday, January 1, 2017
Wedding Canyon Loop 2017

On New Year’s Day Diane and I were up before sunrise to go on our first hike of 2017 in the Colorado National Monument. As usual, we returned to the Wedding Canyon Loop which makes a complete loop around The Island. We went to bed early on New Year’s Eve so we would have no problems getting up for the hike, although we were awoken by fireworks at midnight, and made it to the Monument Canyon Trailhead just before sunrise. We typically hike this loop in a counter-clockwise direction because I prefer to climb the steeper trail in Wedding Canyon and then descend the more gradual trail in Monument Canyon. There was plenty of snow and ice on the trail in Wedding Canyon, but we never had to put on our microspikes this time. As we ascended Wedding Canyon we were treated to a very nice sunrise, but as soon as we reached Independence Monument at the middle of the loop more clouds moved in and blocked the sun for the remainder of the hike back down. We completed the five mile loop in just over two hours and were off the trail before the ground could thaw out and turn into mud.

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Return to the Monument

Monday, May 9, 2016

It’s been a while since the last time I took a drive through the Colorado National Monument and it’s also been a while since I’ve gone out specifically to take photos around sunrise or sunset. After all the rain we’ve been having in the Grand Valley lately, it looked like the storms were finally clearing out this evening so I decided to take a drive on Rim Rock Drive in the west section of the park this evening and stopped at a few of the viewpoints along the way to take a couple of photos.

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