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Colorado National Monument Inversion

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On Saturday morning I slept in a little later than usual. A winter storm moved into the area overnight and when I looked outside towards the Colorado National Monument I could see that the humidity from the storm caused the inversion layer over the valley to thicken. I quickly got dressed and drove up to the Monument. I was planning on a short trip up there to hopefully get a couple of decent photos, but I ended up spending over 5 hours up there!

Since there was another layer of clouds above me there was no direct light the whole time I was up there, but I really enjoyed photographing the muted colors of the canyons in these conditions. It’s certainly different from what I normally shoot, which is what I was trying to do.

The base of Window Rock was just above the inversion layer.

Window by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The thick inversion filling up part of Wedding Canyon.

Filling by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The inversion layer sort of acted like water in the ocean. The fog would recede a little and then advance again. I waited until the wave of fog crashed against the cliff to take this photo.

Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Hidden road in Fruita Canyon.

Fruita Canyon Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Fog and red sandstone cliffs.

Cliffs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A tunnel on Rim Rock Drive as the fog advances from the canyon on the right.

Tunnel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Parked in the inversion so I could explore the area.

Parked by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Rim Rock Drive disappears into the fog.

Into the Fog by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Kissing Couple, Independence Monument, and Window Rock stand above the fog.

Monuments by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Clouds fill the canyon below.

Kissing by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I just love red sandstone poking out of the fog.

Edge of the Inversion by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Independence Monument from Grand View.

Independence Inversion by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The inversion layer fills the lowest parts of Monument Canyon.

Creeping by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When I first arrived at the Independence Monument viewpoint it was completely out of the clouds. With a little patience (which I usually lack), I waited until the tide of the inversion started to engulf Independence Monument before taking a few photos.

Disappearing Act by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A wider view as the fog fills the canyon.

Monument Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I’ve stopped for photos at the Fruita Canyon overlook many times before, but usually Balance Rock blends into the background and is hard to see. With the fog behind, it stands out much better.

Fruita Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look.

Above Balance Rock by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I got soaked early in the day before it stopped raining, but I had a lot of fun photographing the Monument in these conditions.

>> Monument Inversion Photo Gallery

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