Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Year’s Eve | Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Yesterday was supposed to have been an easy day of hiking to Cobra Arch, but after adding another hike down the Paria River we ended up hiking another 11 mile day. I always seem have problems keeping my easy days short! Since we were planning on hiking back to The Wave tomorrow, I promised Diane that today could really be an easy day. We decided to visit Birthday Arch in Buck Tank Draw a few miles west of Big Water, Utah which was only supposed to be about 4-5 miles round trip. We woke up a little bit later this morning and found that it was snowing pretty good outside, but the weather wouldn’t deter us.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

After taking a long loop hike through Coyote Buttes North on Monday we decided to try and make today an easier day. I had never been to Cobra Arch before and thought it might make for a nice easy hike to an interesting arch. We made it to the Middle Trail trailhead on the West Clark Bench shortly after sunrise and were soon descending The Dive on our cross-country hike to Cobra Arch.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

On Monday morning we got an early start and drove back to the Wire Pass trailhead so we could spend the day in Coyote Buttes North and visit the Wave. While I have been here plenty of times over the past couple of years and had no intentions of returning this year, Diane had never been here before and really wanted to visit the Wave. I managed to get a pair of permits for today and that’s the main reason we planned this end of the year trip to Page. The last few times I have been to Coyote Buttes North I barely stopped by the Wave and instead explored other areas that are less visited, but this time we hiked straight to the Wave and waited until it was in good light. While waiting for the sun to crest over Top Rock and light up the Wave I explored more of the area above and took a few photos under Top Rock Arch. While the temperature outside wasn’t too cold this morning, it was pretty windy all day and that kept us pretty chilled, especially when we were in the shade.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

On Sunday morning we drove over to the Wire Pass trailhead from our hotel in Page and arrived shortly after the sunrise. Our plan for today was to hike through Wire Pass and then down Buckskin Gulch for a few miles. Unfortunately, we would not be unable to go down Buckskin Gulch from the confluence with Wire Pass because of some large pools of water blocking our way, and we weren’t prepared to get wet on this cold December day. I had hoped that any water in the canyon might be frozen so we could walk right over it, but that was not the case. Instead, we turned around and hiked up Buckskin Gulch until we exited the narrows. When the canyon opened up I noticed a playground of sandstone above the wash and below the West Clark Bench, so we climbed up into that area and explored the colors and shapes of the sandstone for a while. We made a big loop and ended up back down in Buckskin Gulch again. As we hiked back down towards Wire Pass, the light in the canyon was much nicer than on our way up, and I stopped to take many photos along the way.

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Christmas Day | Thursday, December 25, 2014

If you’ve been following my blog for more than a year, you might already know that I have an annual tradition where I spend Christmas Day in Arches National Park every year. This year would be the first time Diane would be joining me on this annual trip. There was a snowstorm in the forecast for Christmas Day in Grand Junction and Moab, so I made sure that we left very early in the morning so that we could beat the storm and would hopefully only have to drive through it once. The plan worked out pretty well and we only encountered some snow around Crescent Junction that slowed us down for a few miles. The snow didn’t start to fall in Arches until we were in the park, so our timing was perfect! Since it was snowing pretty hard when we reached Balanced Rock, I decided to head for The Windows section first so I could try and take some photos in the snow.

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