Last Weekend Around Moab

Friday – Sunday, October 11-13, 2013

After an amazing day of weather and photography I woke up early again and decided to drive out to Dead Horse Point State Park so I could catch the sunrise this morning. It had been a few years since I’d been up there and they were offering free admission to anyone with a National Parks Pass while the National Parks were still closed. I was also hoping there might be some leftover clouds from the storms the previous day. When I arrived I was surprised to find that there were only a couple of other people up there. I figured with all the other parks closed, this would be a popular place. I’m glad it wasn’t.

As you can see, there were some clouds still in the sky. They started to turn pink shortly before sunrise.

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Dead Horse Dawn by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I love it when the magenta light bounces off the bottom of the clouds and onto the sandstone below. Look closely and you can see the main overlook with a few photographers standing on the platform.

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Viewpoint by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Gooseneck reflected on the Colorado River below.

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Colorado Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice spotlighting looking towards Shafer Canyon and the Island in the Sky.

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Spotlight by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I liked the clouds and the light in the one.

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Canyonlands View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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The Gooseneck by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

You can get a pretty good view of the Shafer Trail climbing up the canyon beyond the water-filled potholes in the foreground.

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Potholes & Canyons by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Colorado Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This raven kept circling above me, so I pointed my camera up for a shot.

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The Raven by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Just a quick snapshot of this well-known tree.

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Famous Tree by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

My shadow and an unnamed rock spire in Shafer Canyon.

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Shadow & Butte by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Just a different view of the spire.

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Little Butte by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As I was getting back to my Jeep I ran into my friend and fellow photographer Bret Edge who was guiding a client that morning. We chatted for a few minutes, since I hadn’t been able to catch him in his gallery for a while, before going our separate ways.

On my way back to town I noticed that the light on the Monitor & Merrimac was not too bad, and since I didn’t have a decent photo of these two prominent buttes, I stopped for a few photos.

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Monitor & Merrimac by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Monitor Butte by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Since I took a photo of the blocked entrance to Arches National Park, I had to stop by this sign for a quick photo, too.

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Canyonlands Closed by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When I got back to town, I stopped for some breakfast so I could figure out what to do for the rest of the day. Kelly would be joining my later that evening after she was done at work, but I wanted to get another hike in before she got there. I remembered that there was a section of Mill Creek Canyon that I have wanted to check out for a while, so I made my way over there when I was done eating.

I’ve visited these petroglyphs in Mill Creek Canyon a number of times before, but this time the reflected light in the alcove was amazing.

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Sideways by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Eagle Men by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Soon I reached the petroglyph panels I was looking for.

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Christmas Lights by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This was probably my favorite one of the day.

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Warriors by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Mill Creek Warriors by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I climbed up to a large alcove that had a bunch of petroglyphs on many of the boulders inside. Unfortunately many of them were hard to see and even harder to photograph. This particular boulder had a bunch of sandal petroglyphs on it.

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Sandals by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Watching over the large alcove.

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Watchman by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were even some pictographs up here, too. I spent a while exploring the area around this alcove and relaxing in the shade.

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Lone Pictograph by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before hiking back to my Jeep I stopped by the popular swimming hole.

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Swimming Hole by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Falling Water by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The trail along Mill Creek.

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Mill Creek Trail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When I reached the trailhead, I looked behind me and saw this nice spotlight on the canyon wall.

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Mill Creek Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As I reached the Jeep, Kelly called me and told me she would be in town shortly, so I had a little more time to kill. I looked at the sky and thought there might be a nice sunset, so decided to head back to the view of the La Sal Mountains that I had photographed earlier in the week to see how it would look with snow on the mountains.

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Snow on the La Sals by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Afterwards I met Kelly in town and we headed over to the Bowling Alley to meet some friends for dinner and a raffle with my old Jeep club. I didn’t win anything in the raffle…

On Saturday I took Kelly on the classic Moab Jeep trail near our campsite: Hells Revenge. It has been a few years since I’ve been on this trail, so it was fun to drive it again.

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Hells Revenge View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Sand Flats by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finishing Hells Revenge, we went over and drove part of Fins & Things since it was also close by.

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Fins & Mountains by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We hiked around some of the sandstone domes near our campsite in the afternoon before driving back down into town for a nice dinner at Pasta Jays.

We spent the rest of the evening around the campfire.

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Around the Fire by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I took a few photos around camp in the moonlight.

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Moonlit Tent by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Sand Flats Tree by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On Saturday we found out that the National Parks would finally be opening again this weekend, so we made our way into Arches National Park via Willow Springs Road on Sunday morning. We started with a short hike to Eye of the Whale Arch and then went over to Tower Arch.

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Tower Arch Hike by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Tower Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

View of the Marching Men as we drove out to Salt Valley from Tower Arch.

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Marching Men by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We took the Salt Valley Road out of the park and back to the highway. We made one last stop at Ray’s in Green River for a late lunch before heading our separate ways. It was another great week in southern Utah!

>> Last Weekend Around Moab Photo Gallery


3 Comments

  1. Monica December 2, 2013 11:00 pm  Reply

    This is torture! We’re supposed to get snow in Denver tomorrow and I’m already anxious for winter to be over. Is it springtime, yet? Life is just killing time between Moab trips.

    • Randy Langstraat December 3, 2013 6:29 am  Reply

      We are supposed to get snow in GJ, too!

      • Monica December 3, 2013 12:58 pm  Reply

        I’m sure you’ll take some gorgeous pictures of the snow for us, hint hint.

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