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Otto’s Staircase

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

After work I decided to get a little hike in and explore a new area of the Colorado National Monument. I wanted to check out Otto’s Staircase above Gold Star Canyon and try to reach the top of Monument Mesa via this route. Please excuse my poor pictures in this trip report, when I set out after work to explore this new trail I didn’t really plan on taking any photos or even creating a trip report so I didn’t carry my camera with me. All of these photos were taken and processed on my iPhone. I ended up really enjoying this climb and taking a few photos with my iPhone so I wanted to share a them. I’m sure I will return to hike this trail again to do even more exploring on Monument Mesa. I will be sure to bring my better camera next time!

I started the hike from the White Rocks trailhead and then ascended Gold Star Canyon to the bottom of Otto’s Staircase.

A cool little alcove I passed on my climb up.


After climbing to the top of a talus slope and then across a steep section of slickrock, I finally reached the bottom of Otto’s Staircase.


Looking up the staircase.


Climbing up…


Spot of light on the sandstone above.


After reaching the top of the first staircase I had to find my way up the next couple series of ledges. There were more steps carved in some of them to help reach the top. It was a fun puzzle.

Here’s a view looking down the series of steep sandstone ledges I had just ascended. This was taken just below the final ledge that appeared almost impossible to ascend, at first.


Then I found the way to the top. It was a bit of a climb, but not too bad. I almost didn’t try to climb it since I was alone, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to reach the top. It was easier than it looked and even easier coming back down. I didn’t really have anything to worry about, but I’m extra cautious when I am alone.


View from the top of Monument Mesa with my shadow below. I would have liked to explore up here longer but I was running out of time and had to start my descent.


A little trickle of water in Gold Star Canyon.


Desert scenery on my way back down.



I passed a few desert flowers along the trail.



>> Otto’s Staircase Photo Gallery

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