Last weekend my buddy Kat and I took a road trip out to Grand Junction and Palisade Colorado. Mostly because neither of us had visited there yet. While on that side of the state we also hit a couple of great outdoor spaces, Hanging Lake and Colorado National Monument.
Located in the middle of Glennwood Canyon, Hanging Lake exists in a high crevice nearly at the top of the canyon wall. Due to its unique location it has a unique ecosystem, including bacteria species that don't exist elsewhere.
The approach trail is only a little more than a mile, but gains 1,800 feet of elevation. This makes it strenuous hide when dry. On this day, however, the trail was half covered in snow and ice, and half covered in melted snow and ice (commonly called mud). I made it in good hiking boots, but Kat had an easier time using her trekking poles.
Which brings me to an interesting point. Don't try and do these things if you are not prepared!
Hanging Lake is right off the interstate, easy to get to and well known. This brought a lot of people to the people to the trail head, to read the sign that said how difficult the trail was. Yet we still saw people in dress shoes, gym shorts and other questionable choices in hiking wear. In all likelihood they never made it to the lake, and hopefully did not get hurt in the process.
For every unprepared person, however, we found several others well enough prepared for the conditions. Lots of people taking the effort to see a unique and beautiful place.
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument wasn't even on our itinerary. We had a few hours to spare and found a great big green area on the map. Much to my pleasant surprise we had found ourselves in a stunning canyon on a winding road climbing up and over the rim to panoramic views like this one...
That is Kat on the side there taking a panorama picture herself. Panoramception!
I will be back there sometime to explore it more.
Here are some more pictures from these two lovely places.
Next time I'll write about what we did in town.
Be good, have fun,
I don't know why I'm late to this.
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