Colorado National Monument | Saturday, April 26, 2014
I was originally planning to hike Flume Canyon near Fruita this morning when I left my house shortly after sunrise, but the unusual clouds in the sky and beautiful light in the canyons of the northern end of the Uncompahgre Plateau made me change my mind. Instead, I drove up into the Colorado National Monument and spent the morning taking photos from the overlooks along Rim Rock Drive.
A view back towards Chalk Mountain and the Grand Mesa after entering the Monument on Rim Rock Drive below. Bright green cottonwood trees light up in the bottom of No Thoroughfare Canyon.
Looking up No Thoroughfare Canyon. It sure looks a lot different when it’s not overcast and raining!
Interesting clouds over my Jeep.
The first main overlook I stopped at was Cold Shivers Point.
Great views over Columbus Canyon and Red Canyon from here with the wall of clouds over the Grand Valley and Book Cliffs.
A little further down the road I pulled over for a shot down Columbus Canyon.
A nice view down the very straight Red Canyon.
I recently hiked through Ute Canyon with Diane, but it’s been a while since I’d stopped at the main overlook.
I loved the clouds over this beautiful canyon.
The upper reaches of Ute Canyon just below Suction Point.
Following Rim Rock Drive to the next overlook.
A nice view of the Coke Ovens from Artists Point.
Another view a little further down the road.
The upper reaches of Monument Canyon from the short Coke Ovens Overlook trail.
I made sure to stop at the always spectacular Monument Canyon overlook.
A panoramic image of the view from here.
Love the layers in this photo.
It’s been a while since I stopped at Grand View for this spectacular view down Wedding Canyon.
The Island and Independence Monument across from Grand View.
Independence Monument towers above the Grand Valley.
After visiting many of the typical overlooks, I needed to get off the beaten path and wanted to check out a short slot canyon I came across a few years back.
Hiking up the canyon to the little slot.
Nice reflected light as the canyon narrowed.
Entering the short slot canyon.
It ends at this tall and narrow dry waterfall.
More reflected light on my way back out.
I made a quick stop at the Fruita Canyon Overlook.
Before leaving the park I hiked a short section of the Fruita Dugway, this time in better weather.
While hiking in the rain a few weeks ago I came across this tree in a large alcove. The light wasn’t good that day, but I knew I wanted to return.
Looking down on Rim Rock Drive towards Fruita and the Book Cliffs.
Nice clouds over the old Fruita Dugway from the Historic Trails View.