Monument Canyon

One of the perks of Emily being a wedding photographer is that she sometimes has to travel to places right next to some fun trails! This weekend we road tripped from Boulder to Grand Junction. We had to go through Steamboat Springs to avoid closures and delays on I-70, but the views on the drive and good company made the extra hours pass quickly. 

Once at our hotel in Grand Junction, I used the amazing Trail Run Project app to find some trails in the Colorado National Monument nearby. I decided to start at the lower Monument Canyon trailhead and ran to the upper Monument Canyon trail head and back – a total of just under 12 miles. 

I woke up to a sunny promising day!
With temperatures in the low 60s, it was a perfect day to explore. After Emily went to shoot the wedding, I drove to the trail head, strapped on my UD Ak 2.0 vest and headed out into the canyon. I gave it an easy effort on the trail, I stopped to take way too many pictures (it seemed like around every corner was a jaw dropping view!) and stopped a few times to chat with the very friendly hikers I crossed paths with. 
From the start I knew this was a good idea!

The terrain was pretty much a mix of everything, from dry packed dirt to mud, snow and sand. There were patches of technical trail and a good distribution of uphill and downhill, mostly runnable, except that the vistas were too incredible to run through and not stop to appreciate their glory along the whole trail! 
It was sunny and I was exposed a lot. I made it through with a UD body bottle, some Honey Stinger gels and a Thunderbird bar. I didn’t expect to be out so long, so I’m glad I brought extra provisions, although I barely made it back to the car with enough water. I’m too used to the shade of trees in Charlotesville and Boulder, and didn’t anticipate the exposed canyon’s heat on a late February day! 

If you’re ever in Grand Junction I highly recommend checking Monument Canyon out! 


stopping to take in these views was necessary


I took Wedding Canyon on the way out which went around the other side back to the trail head


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