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Monument Canyon

Sunday, September 15, 2013

On Thursday evening my friend Lisa contacted me to let me know she was taking a last minute trip to the Colorado National Monument this weekend and she wanted to see if I was available to go hiking on Sunday morning. It just so happened that I planned to be home all this weekend and was planning on hiking around the Monument already. We planned to meet up on Sunday morning and hike Monument Canyon from top to bottom. It has been a few years since I hiked the full canyon and I was looking forward to it. We met at the lower trailhead at 8:00am, left her car there and then took my Jeep up to the upper trailhead.

As we were driving through the Monument to the trailhead we noticed some nice light and clouds, so we had to stop for a few photos along the way.

Nice clouds over the Grand Valley from the Historic Trails viewpoint.

Historic Trail View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I loved the light on the fields visible from Distant View this morning.

Distant View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great clouds over the monoliths in Monument Canyon.

Monument Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A wider view which includes The Island.

Nice Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking back up the trail after descending from Rim Rock Drive into Monument Canyon.

Upper Monument Canyon Trail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Canyon View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking back at the Coke Ovens.

Coke Ovens by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The upper reaches of Monument Canyon.

Upper Monument Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Towering sandstone all around us.

Standing Tall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Above by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Lisa hiking ahead of me towards the Kissing Couple.

Hiking Monument Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Kissing Couple View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A nice view towards Window Rock from near the base of Independence Monument.

Window Rock by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking back towards Independence Monument as we descend further down the canyon.

Independence Monument by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Shortly after spotting a large group of desert bighorn sheep down by the wash (I didn’t have my long lens with me, so no photos of them), we spotted three gray foxes on an outcropping of rock near the trail. Two of them ran off before I could get my camera ready, but this one stuck around long enough for me to get a shot of. I’ve never seen a fox in the Monument before today.

Gray Fox by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice light on the sandstone cliffs of The Island.

Lower Monument Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

One last view of Independence Monument before we left the mouth of the canyon and finished the hike back to the trailhead.

Independence Monument View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Monument Canyon Photo Gallery

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