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Professor Creek

Mary Jane Canyon
Saturday, May 17, 2014

The hike up Professor Creek through Mary Jane Canyon has been on my to-do list for a few years now. It’s not that far from home for me, but every time I thought about hiking it things never seemed to work out. Either something else came up or it was too cold to hike through the water since I wanted to go on a warm day. Everything finally came together this weekend. Diane and I wanted to stay close to home and the temperatures looked great for a wet hike through a canyon. We left home early in the morning and were the first vehicle in the trailhead parking lot. It was a little cool when we started hiking up the canyon in the morning, but not too cold that I didn’t mind getting my feet wet. As the day grew on and the temperature rose, walking through the water felt great. I stopped quite a few times along the creek for photos of the flowing water and we took our time with this hike.

Starting to hike up Professor Creek under the Priest & Nuns and Castle Tower.

Priest & Nuns by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There was plenty of nice reflected light and moving water along the way…

Flow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Professor Creek Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Cascade by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Downstream by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Little Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Ripples in the creek reflecting the sky above.

Ripples by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Flume by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Small Waterfall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Boulder Cascade by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice light was around each corner as the canyon narrowed.

Around the Corner by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Light Around the Bend by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When we reached the waterfall that blocked our progress up the canyon, we found it was partly in direct sunlight which was no good for photos of the complete fall.

I did zoom in on the left waterfall for a photo out of direct light.

Left Fall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We backtracked down the canyon a short distance and found a place to sit so we could have a little lunch and relax for about an hour. When we returned back to the waterfall we found it all in the shade and I was able to make a few photos.

Diane leaned in to check out the waterfall while I was taking this shot. I liked the effect.

Checking Out the Falls by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Professor Creek Falls by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Mary Jane Falls by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As we leisurely hiked back to my Jeep we passed a few larger groups that had started later in the day. I’m glad we didn’t run into them while we were at the waterfall and had the canyon to ourselves for most of the day.

As we left the waterfall, Diane spotted this small snake in the canyon. I believe it’s a Gopher Snake?

Small Snake by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The light wasn’t as nice on the way back, but it’s still a beautiful canyon.

Light & Shadow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Bend by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We saw plenty of Mule’s Ears growing along the creek when the canyon started to open up.

Mule’s Ears by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking back towards Adobe Mesa towering above the canyon.

Adobe Mesa by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A nice view towards Fisher Mesa as we neared the trailhead.

Fisher Mesa by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We took our time on the hike back and still managed to make it back to Grand Junction in time for an early dinner. This was definitely a great day hike not too far from home that I wouldn’t mind returning to again.

>> Professor Creek Photo Gallery

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