Posted on Wed, 28-Sep-2016Mon, 03-Oct-2016 by pamColorado National Monument Independence Monument – we did a morning valley hike to see this pillar up close. There are naturalization ceremonies here and 4th of July flag raisings and rock climbers today! The library had an entertaining John Otto impersonator talk about how he built these trails and championed for this to be a National Monument. So glad we had people like him in the early 1900’s! Another day hike from the valley to Liberty Bell formation – named after the bell in Philadelphia. It is a steep hike but worth it to enjoy the solitude and views. Nice photo op! Another day we drove the full rim drive – this is looking back at the Liberty Bell across Ute canyon. There are so many canyons that would be fun to explore. We enjoyed all the little overlook hikes, a cooler day, and no need to hurry. These are the coke oven formations. There is a CCC water diversion tunnel built near here with some information on their time building the roads as well as a ranger cabin that is still standing. Such amazing stone work! Big horn sheep live here – we felt so lucky to see them! The back side of Independence Monument looking down on the trail we hiked. We enjoyed this view of Independence Monument while eating our picnic lunch.