Colorado National Monument, Colorado – A last view back

Colorado’s sun does what it is expected to do on 300 days per year: it is shining. A good last day in this state and a good day for Colorado National Monument, just a few miles outside Grand Junction. The broad canyon landscape with high precipices and odd stone sculptures towers above Colorado River Valley by more than 600 m. Variously coloured stone layers testify for many millions of years of most different climatic conditions. Glowing red, violet, orange and brown tones result from iron and other minerals in the rock. Erosion power of water, wind and ice worked for long time on sandstone, slate and other sediment layers. Harder stratums resist to erosion better than softer ones and influence which shape the rock will take. From the elevation of this semi-desert we look back to a Colorado that charmed us with its unadulterated diversity. In the extremely clear air we discover the city of Grand Junction, the Colorado River Valley, Grand Mesa, and the Rocky Mountains.

On I 70 we head into Utah and take from Cisco Hwy # 128 that follows the now narrow Colorado Canyon. The washed out deep-red limestone landscape is so dramatic that you can think about skipping famous Monument Valley – and even without entrance fee. A particularly beautiful spot are the Fisher Towers called rock formations half-way between I 70 and Moab, to be reached on a gravel road. The monoliths and walls tower fantastically jagged into the steel-blue sly, mildly floodlighted by the evening sun.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.