|Airstream Camping at Colorado National Monument|
|Red rock spires and gigantic monoliths fill the landscape|
|Dramatic Vistas spread out in every direction|
The highlight for me was hiking through the canyons, dwarfed beneath the ancient rock formations that towered like skyscrapers over the landscape. Starting at the canyon rim, I descended past Creamsicle colored canyon walls and was soon standing at the base of beautiful rock spires. I spent the entire day wandering amongst the towers of eroded red rock, capturing photos, and taking in the splendor of it all.
|Yellow-headed Collared Lizard posed for his photograph|
|Popcorn clouds dot the sky|
This region is high desert on the Colorado Plateau and receives less than 12 inches of precipitation each year. Brightly colored cactus pepper the trailside, and I saw more lizards on this hike than I have seen in my entire life, including a beautiful turquoise and yellow collared lizard that seemed to enjoy posing for photographs.
|My campsite at Saddlehorn|
|Vibrantly colored cactus flowers pepper the hiking trails|
Even though the hike left my feet sore, and my legs tired, my soul was full. Colorado National Monument has a feeling of spirituality to it. It is hard to explain - I don't worship rocks and animals, or even hug trees, but I sensed a strong spiritual connection in this place. It felt so beautiful, peaceful, serene, and sacred.
|Cactus flowers mimic the colors of the sunset|
More Photos HERE.
If you go:
Saddlehorn Campground is located just a short walk from the canyon's rim. There are 80 first-come-first-serve sites nested among pinyon pines, junipers, and desert shrubs. Although you will find lots of vegetation, be prepared for little shade, strong winds, and dry, desert-like conditions. There are no electrical hookups or showers, but there are flush toilets and potable water available nearby. Campsites are $20/night plus a $10 Monument entrance fee that's good for a week. Views are outstanding and free.