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Independence Monument

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Independence Panorama
Independence Monument and The Island from the upper reaches of Wedding Canyon.

Since I haven’t been able to get out hiking in couple of weeks (plus the temperature was only in the low 90’s, which is slightly cooler than it’s been the last few days), I decided to head out after work for an evening hike in the Colorado National Monument. It’s been a little while since the last time I was in Monument Canyon, so I hiked up that trail to Independence Monument and then explored the upper reaches of Wedding Canyon for a different view of Independence Monument before returning the way I had come. The parking lot at the trailhead was completely empty when I arrived and I would only pass one trail runner shortly before sunset. I had the entire canyon to myself for a few hours which was nice. Enjoy a few photos from the evening!

Rain over the Grand Valley with the Grand Mesa in the background as I started to hike up the canyon. I was hoping to get a little rain during my hike to cool me off, but it stayed on the other side of the valley.

Grand Mesa

Looking up Monument Canyon.

Up Canyon

This bighorn sheep was about 30 feet above me and we kept pace together for a little bit.

Above Me

The edge of The Island.

Island Light

A great view across to Monument Mesa.

Monument Mesa

Below the tip of The Island at the junction with the Wedding Canyon Trail.

Junction View

A new view of Independence Monument from Wedding Canyon.

Independence Monument II

The Pipe Organ towered above me on the other side of the canyon.

Pipe Organ

Nice light on Independence Monument and The Island. Wedding Canyon is on the left and Monument Canyon is to the right.

Independence Evening

At the base of the tower.

Independence Monument

The Kissing Couple and Monument Canyon.

Kissing Couple

Dark clouds and spotted light in Monument Canyon.

Monument Canyon

Following the trail back down the canyon.


I came across another pair of bighorn sheep near the mouth of the canyon.

Coming Down

I stuck around until sunset and caught the last light of the day striking Monument Mesa across the canyon.

Little Island Sunset

>> Independence Monument Photo Gallery


  1. Bill
    Bill July 28, 2016

    Great pics, as usual. That’s a nice hike, one of the best trails in the park. I always enjoy reading about your adventures. Thanks for the write up.

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat July 31, 2016

      Thanks Bill!

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