Monday, May 9, 2016

Greater Canyonlands Rainbow Evening

Snow showers on the Abajo Mountains and Monticello, Utah.

It was a rainy weekend in southeast Utah, making driving on the dirt roads in the area a muddy possibility. And in the mountains of southwest Colorado more snow. 

Rainbow panorama.

So I opted to camp above the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Good roads, few people, outstanding scenery. This area outside the southern portion of the park is sometimes called Greater Canyonlands and has been proposed as a new National Monument.

Near Monticello, Utah I admired a storm cloud of snow and rain enveloping the Abajo Mountains. 

Rainbow closeup.

North of Monticello was the road to Hatch Point, my intended destination. I normally would have continued on to the Needles Overlook, but sunset time was nearing and I wanted to be further north. But on the way in a full rainbow slowed me down. 

Pronghorn buck with last patches of his winter coat.

I almost always see pronghorn in this area of high sagebrush. At this time of year the herds are split up, as the females have their young, each in their hidden spot, I suppose. Then I saw this big buck by the side of the road, almost unconcerned with me. I shot this photo of him right out the car window. Notice how almost all of his winter coat has been shed. 

Sunshine through the rain down along the Colorado River inside Canyonlands National Park.
The view to the west, over the side of the rim down into the Colorado River further slowed me down for photos. I loved how the sunshine lit up rain showers, with other buttes in shadow for dark contrasting shapes.

I did make it to my campsite shortly before sunset. The view down Kane Creek Canyon and to the Colorado River were dizzying and beautiful. 

Sunset time looking down on the Colorado River from near the Anticline Overlook.
To the east, the La Sal Mountains were showing off another late spring coat of new snow.

The La Sal Mountains just before sunset.

One of the peaks of the La Sal Mountains that was visible through the clouds.
Golden sunset rain showers over the Colorado River.

During the night I was treated to the peaceful sound of rain drumming on the roof of the vehicle. 

Photo location: San Juan County, southeast Utah.

Sunset on Kane Creek Canyon, from Hatch Point.
© Copyright 2016 Stephen J. Krieg