Sunday, March 15, 2015
On Sunday morning Diane and I headed into the Colorado National Monument for a short and steep sunrise hike. Recently Diane had mentioned to me that she wanted to climb to the top of The Island which is between Monument Canyon and Wedding Canyon. It had been a few years since I was up there and I was definitely interested in hiking it again, especially since we were going to catch a sunrise on the way. We made it to the Lower Monument Canyon Trailhead about 45 minutes before sunrise and were the first vehicle in the parking lot. We started hiking in the dark and followed the rim on the southeast side of The Island over Monument Canyon so we would have a good view as the sun came up.
A little alpenglow on the side of The Island. Look closely and you can see Independence Monument sticking up in the distance.
A few pink clouds over the Grand Valley behind us. I liked how the pink color was reflecting in the small lakes along the Colorado River.
Monument Canyon getting a little light just as the sun was coming up over the Grand Mesa.
Diane takes a break while waiting for me to take a few photos.
Beautiful golden light strikes the sandstone below.
Another look back over the valley to the Book Cliffs.
While the view of Independence Monument from the point of The Island is not my favorite, I did like the shadow this time.
Diane rests and enjoys the view after climbing about 1,100 feet in 1.5 miles.
One last view of the point of The Island. The top of Independence Monument is straight ahead.
After resting and taking in the views for a while, we turned around and hiked back down a more direct route. It was a nice way to start our Sunday.
Below is the GPS track from our hike to the top of The Island following closer to the rim on the Monument Canyon side. There is no trail to follow and any number of routes will take you to the top, but you can use this one as a guide if needed.