Laccolith Tour | Henry Mountains

Saturday & Sunday, June 12-13, 2010

This last weekend Amanda and I decided to head for the Henry Mountains. I have skirted around them many times in the past, but for some reason I had never made the time to stop and check them out. This was my weekend to correct that little problem 🙂 Last week was very hot and sunny around here, so I thought the weather would be perfect when I started planning the trip. Unfortunately, there was a cold front that came through and screwed up all that nice weather while we were out exploring. We managed to still have a great time, even with the cooler temperatures, rain and snow.

We left home early Saturday morning and stopped in Hanksville to fuel up before heading to Starr Spring Campground. This was our planned camping location for the weekend. When we arrived, we were disappointed to find all the sites full. We decided to do some exploring and find a campsite later. Before heading out, we stopped to check out the never completed Starr Ranch house.

Starr Ranch house with Mount Hillers in the background
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The stone cellar behind the house
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We then headed west on Clay Point Road to reach the Bullfrog Road.

Mount Hillers in the background
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Headed towards the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park.
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On our way back towards Bullfrog to loop back around, we took the side loop around Big Thompson Mesa to some overlooks of Halls Creek and the Waterpocket Fold

Great view of the Waterpocket Fold over Halls Creek
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Directly across from the first overlook was the Brimhall Double Bridge
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Headed out to the second overlook….this one was not as well traveled
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After making it back to the highway near Bullfrog, we headed North past Ticaboo, we took the turnoff that led is into Shitamaring Canyon….or Shootering Canyon, as the BLM refers to it.

It started out as a nice sandy road
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Once the road passed the current uranium mining operations, the canyon got narrower and more scenic
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Heading back towards Mount Hillers to complete the large loop we just made.
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After reaching Clay Point Road again, we backtracked a few miles and started our way up the road to Stanton Pass.

We were sidetracked on the way to the pass and made a detour onto the Pennell Creek Bench. The trails up here had not been driven much in a quite a while. The bugs were terrible!
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But there was a nice overlook of No Man Mesa
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Soon we were back on our way to Stanton Pass
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Stanton Pass (7,470 feet)
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Headed back down the other side.
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When we reached the highway again, we ended up making a quick side trip to the Hog Springs pictogrraphs.

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Soon we were back on the road to Bull Creek Pass.
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The bad weather started rolling in as we got up higher up into the mountains. Thunder, lightening and rain.

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We eventually reached Pennellen Pass (7,912 feet) as it was starting to get late out.
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It was getting late, so we needed to start looking for a place to spend the night, and it appeared that the weather wouldn’t be letting up anytime soon. I saw on my map that we were coming up to the McMillian Springs Campground, so we decided to head there before stopping for the night. When we finally reached the campground, we found this one completely empty, but because of the rain it was very muddy. We didn’t want to get wet and muddy, so we opted to spend the night in the Jeep. As we were having some dinner, it started to snow a bit. The elevation of the campground was about 8400 feet and with the cold weather that had move in, we knew it was going to be a cold night!

When morning arrived, we had some breakfast and continued on towards Bull Creek Pass.

Nice views along the way as the sun was coming up
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Stopped at a short overlook along the way
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A fresh dusting of snow
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In the clouds at Bull Creek Pass (10,500 feet).
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The cloudy hiking trail to the peak of Mount Ellen. I’ll have to save this hike for another day.
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After skirting around some snow drifts on the shelf road, we finally reached some that were too dangerous to go around with the current wet and muddy road conditions, so we had to turn around and head back. Guess I will be heading back to complete the Bull Creek Pass trail later this summer 🙂

Headed back at the pass. The clouds were starting to clear up a little.
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Instead of heading back the exact way we had come, I turned off to follow South Creek to the Notom Road. We then headed back to Hanksville for some fuel before heading south again to Little Egypt.

A smaller version of Goblin Valley
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Before making our way home we headed out across the Burr Desert to the Dirty Devil Overlook on Burr Point.

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After a quick stop at Stan’s Burger Shak, we were on our way home again. Another fun weekend in the books!


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