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Christmas Eve Clouds

Christmas Eve | Monday, December 24, 2018

When I got out of work early on Christmas Eve it looked like the winter storm that had been around all day was finally starting to clear out, and I thought it might be a good opportunity to photograph a nice sunset. I stopped home quickly to grab my camera and then headed up to the Colorado National Monument to see if I could get a few photos. Unfortunately, there was a thick bank of low clouds hovering right over the Monument and I never got the light that I was hoping for. I waited around for a while hoping the clouds would clear before sunset, but they never did, so I ended up not taking many photos. I’ll share the few photos I did take below.

While the clouds were blocking the light in the canyons below me, the light was shining nicely on the clouds that were shrouding the Book Cliffs on the other side of the Grand Valley, so I took out my long lens for a few shots from the Distant View overlook. The high peak in this scene is Corcoran Peak (8,076), which I climbed last year.

Corcoran Peak

The mix of snow, clouds, and evening light was pretty nice.

Book Cliffs in the Clouds

Here’s a view over Window Rock and Fruita to the distant Book Cliffs.

Window Rock View

Following Rim Rock Drive under low clouds to the Independence Monument Overlook and Grand View.

Low Clouds

Independence Monument on Christmas Eve

Independence Monument

One last view of the Grand Valley as I started driving back home for the night.

Grand Valley Clouds

>> Christmas Eve Clouds Photo Gallery


  1. Johnny Smith
    Johnny Smith January 10, 2019

    I too took a drive on Christmas eve. We could have passed one another. I was surprised to find so many of us there. I had hoped to see the sheep Nada. Did get a good picture of a three point buck just after leaving the Monument. Went on to Glade Park Store, grabbed a cup of coffee, drove to Miracle Rock day use area then returned to the NM. Walked the Alcove trail thinking I might see some sheep. The only tracks were mine. Thanks for your site.
    Johnny Smith

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat January 10, 2019

      Johnny, I never left the Monument. I just stopped at a few overlooks and waited to see if the bank of clouds was going to clear in time before heading back down.

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