Doug Beezley Photography | Colorado National Monument - September 2012

Colorado National Monument, a part of the vast Colorado Plateau, rises up 2,000 feet above the Grand Valley and Colorado River. Largely overlooked because of comparisons to nearby national parks such as Arches, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, and Monument Valley and because it "suffers" from being so close to the largest city between Denver and Salt Lake City, Grand Junction. Colorado Monument is spectacular and unique in its own right.

I had been to Colorado Monument before but this was the first time with a camera and I only had a couple of hours before meeting friends at the Grand Junction airport to start a ten day trip to photograph Fall color in both the Elk and San Juan Mountains in Colorado and visit Arches, Bryce and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah.

CNM was so designated in 1911 by President Taft under the Antiquities Act and the first real road network in the Monument (Rim Rock Drive) was constructed in 1931 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Wildlife abounds in the Monument with regular sightings of bear, mountain lion, bobcat, Big Horn Sheep, coyotes, foxes, Golden Eagles, hawks, vultures and deer. I was lucky enough to see a small herd of desert Big Horn Sheep near the west entrance.
Grand Valley
Natural Cave
Independence Rock
Independence Rock +
Window Rock
Canyon Wall & Book Cliffs
Above Monument Valley
Kissing Couple
The Coke Ovens
The Coke Ovens
Rainbow Beginning
Ute Canyon Rainbow
Rainbows Over Ute Canyon
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