Tagged: uncompahgre plateau

Colorado National Monument Traverse IV
Saturday, February 25, 2017

We saw a little blue sky when we reached Gold Star Canyon near the end of our hike.

This year I decided to plan our annual Colorado National Monument Traverse hike a little earlier than usual since our upcoming wedding and honeymoon are going to be taking over much of the month of March, and I wasn’t sure if we’d have time to fit it into our busy schedule later this spring. I also wanted to keep the hike a little shorter than usual since it would only be a day hike and we would be going to a concert in the evening.

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sandstone formations near the beginning of the trail into Rough Canyon.

After spending all day Saturday near Moab with Marty I stayed home for much of the day on Sunday, but Diane and I did head out in the afternoon for a local hike into Rough Canyon. We had hoped to start hiking down the canyon from the Bangs Canyon Trailhead and go at least a few miles before turning around and returning the same way, but after about a mile we reached a section of the trail that was sketchy because of ice and decided to turn around there. Then we thought about going to the Mica Mine instead, but the trail was full of loud and obnoxious people, so we decided just to call it a day and head back home instead. Remind me never to come back here on a weekend…now I remember why it’s been a long time since I last visited this area! At least we got to visit a small petroglyph panel in the canyon while we were there.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Overlooking the Colorado River from the Lower Porcupine Rim Trail near Moab.

After spending Saturday at the Ouray Ice Festival, I decided to wake up early this morning to photograph sunrise at the Colorado National Monument. I headed over to the Devil’s Kitchen Trailhead and hiked up the Serpent’s Trail to a switchback overlooking Rim Rock Drive and No Thoroughfare Canyon to watch the sun come up.

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

The first sunrise on the Colorado National Monument in 2017 from the Wedding Canyon Trail.

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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