Fall Colors 2017 | No Thoroughfare Canyon
Monday, October 16, 2017

Beautiful desert fall colors in No Thoroughfare Canyon within the Colorado National Monument.

No, the big canyon located at the east end of the Colorado National Monument hasn’t had a name change, it’s still named No Thoroughfare Canyon. But since I went on a short hike into the canyon this evening to check on the fall colors of the cottonwoods, I thought it was a fun take on the name. I try to head up into the Colorado National Monument each October to catch the cottonwoods changing colors, and as you can see from the photos below they were coming along nicely!

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Southern Utah Wanderings | Cedar Mesa
Tuesday – Thursday, October 3-5, 2017

Long Front Ruin hidden in an alcove on Cedar Mesa within Bears Ears National Monument.

After spending Monday in the Abajo Mountains and the previous weekend in the northern section of The Bears Ears, it was time to head over to Cedar Mesa so we could spend then next couple of days exploring some new areas of this part of The Bears Ears searching for new ruins and rock art sites. Here are a few photos from the remainder of our trip…

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Southern Utah Wanderings | Fall Colors 2017
Monday, October 2, 2017

Early morning alpenglow on South Peak (11,122) in the Abajo Mountains from our campsite.

After spending the weekend in the northern section of Bears Ears National Monument and Canyonlands National Park, we moved a little further south into the Abajo Mountains (Blue Mountains) so we could get a little peak-bagging in on our trip. Since I’ve hiked the highest peaks in the La Sal Mountains and Henry Mountains, I thought it would be nice to complete the trifecta by reaching the summit of Abajo Peak (11,360), the highest point in the Abajo Mountains. This one is a little easier than the others though, since there is a good road all the way up to the top because of all the towers and antennas up there. Shortly after sunrise we broke down our camp located at the base of the Abajo Mountains and drove up the road to the summit. There were some nice views along the way.

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Southern Utah Wanderings | Northern Bears Ears
Friday – Sunday, September 29 – October 1, 2017

A large hoodoo we visited while exploring the northern portion of Bears Ears National Monument.

This year for my annual weeklong trip into southern Utah during the first week of October I met up with Jared and we spent most of the week exploring, hiking, four-wheeling, camping, backpacking, peak-bagging and photographing within Bears Ears National Monument. The first few days of our trip were spent in the northern part of the Bears Ears between Canyonlands National Park and Lockhart Basin. (We did a little hiking into Canyonlands, too.) We were hoping to visit a few new pictograph panels and maybe find some ruins, but we ran into some issue that prevented us from reaching the rock art sites we were looking for this time, so we will definitely have to come back and try again another time. Here are some photos from the first three days of the trip.

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Fall Colors 2017 | Monday, September 25, 2017

Fall colors on the Grand Mesa viewed from the Skyway Point Overlook.

This evening I headed up onto the Grand Mesa after work for a couple of hours so I could try to catch a few fall colors this season with my camera. Unfortunately, the colors didn’t seem to be as good as they usually are with plenty of stripped trees and unhealthy looking leaves, but I managed to find a couple nice areas and used my long lens to help isolate the best colors. There was even a little snow still sticking around on the top of the mesa from the winter storm that came through over the weekend. I pretty much stuck to the highway and stayed around until sunset before heading back home. Here are a few photos from the evening…

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