Southern Utah Wanderings | Day 3

Monday, October 5, 2009 | Starting Odometer: 144040

Monday was yet another early morning. I got some breakfast for me and gas for the Jeep and then headed out of Page and back over Glen Canyon Dam. My main goal for today was to finish up at Alstrom Point to catch the sunset and to camp. Since I was already pretty close to Alstrom Point, I needed to find something to fill my day until then. I looked at my maps and strung together a large loop that would let me finish up back near Big Water. My first destination would be Paria. On my way there I made a quick stop for a view over Lake Powell from the Wahweap Overlook.

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I continued on US 89 past Big Water to reach the turnoff to the town site of Paria. Paria, or Parhrea as it was originally spelled, was originally established in 1865 and moved further upstream in 1870 because of Indian raids. Eventually the town had to be abandoned because of repeated floods. there is not much left today.

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Unfortunately a few months back the BLM closed the road that followed the Paria River bed through the canyon past Paria to motorized travel, so I would not be continuing on to Cannonville this way.

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I parked at the end of the road and did some hiking and exploring along the Paria River.

Tracks in the sand
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Dry section of the Paria River bed
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Since I had to head back out the way I came, I took a road called the Paria Breaks Road for a change of scenery. There were a number of washouts along this route, but nothing that required me to turn back.

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After reaching the highway again, I made my up the paved road through Johnson Canyon to reach the Skutumpah Road which would take me back to Cannonville again.

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I had to wait for a little traffic jam to pass me by
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I took another break from driving to hike along the rim of the Bull Valley Gorge.
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I soon reached Cannonville again, fueled up, and then headed back down Cottonwood Canyon Road. This time the weather was a little better so I got a few more photos from along this route.

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Cottonwoods starting to change colors
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Cockscomb again
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Instead of following the same route back that I had taken yesterday, I consulted my maps again and found a loop that would bypass a section of the Cottonwood Canyon Road. This loop consisted of the Brigham Plains Road and the Coyote Valley Road.

The road immediately switchbacked up behind the Cockscomb up to the top of the Kaiparowits Plateau
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That dome of slickrock back there is known as Yellow Rock, and is popular with photographers
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The Cockscomb below
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The trail leveled out on top of the plateau and crossed it. Once the trail reached the other side, it switchbacked back down and into Coyote Valley as seen in the photo below. Much of the Coyote Valley Road followed the bottom of a sandy wash, but I was in a hurry to make it back to Alstrom point for sunset, that I did not stop for any photos this time.

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Soon I was back in Big Water and heading up the Smoky Mountain Road and into the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to reach Alstrom Point. I did end up making it there before sunset, however I was not expecting it to be as windy as it was. I would not be setting up a tent this evening. I made room in the back of my Jeep so I could sleep in there, instead. There were great views of Gunsight Bay, Gunsight Butte and Navajo Mountain to name a few land features.

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Shortly before sunset a foreign couple came to take some photos. He was from Italy and his wife from Cuba. They were nice and we chatted a bit before they took off on their way to the Grand Canyon.
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This one got screwed up when I bumped the tripod, but I kind of like the way it looks 🙂
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Another great day in the books!

Ending Odometer: 144260 | Total Miles: 220


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