After two days of hiking and camping, we left the Black Canyon of the Gunnison on a glorious Sunday afternoon in mid-August. We followed the Gunnison River upstream, driving to the southernmost point along the North Rim.  We digitally Polaroided the entire way:

A River Rushes Through It (the canyon)

A River Rushes Through It (the canyon)

Same canyon, different rock formations

Same canyon, different rock formations

And then we bade goodbye to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and headed north toward Hotchkiss along this road.

The road north

The road north

The town of Crawford boasts a beautiful mountain backdrop and the remnants of an old, very old volcano. We beelined for The Needle, as it’s called. We’d seen some old rock at the Black Canyon, and I was ready to see some more, but of a different kind.

The Needle in the foreground

The Needle in the foreground of the mountains

The Needle, up close

The Needle, up close

The Needle has a quarter-mile hiking trail, which is steep. And this being August, it was hot. I walked up for 20 minutes, took the picture below, and hiked back down.

Up close and personal with The Needle

Up close and personal with The Needle

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