Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Orange Cliffs Unit | Memorial Day Weekend
Friday – Monday, May 22-25, 2015

Since we had a great trip to The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park during last year’s Memorial Day Weekend, we decided to go back again this year and spend a few nights at a few different campsites so we could explore new areas. Even though we didn’t technically spend much time in the actual Maze District since all of the campsites we stayed at were in the surrounding Orange Cliffs Unit of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, we did hike down into Ernies Country for a little while.

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Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing
Tuesday – Saturday, May 12-16, 2015

For the past two years a few friends and I have floated the upper section of the San Juan River from Sand Island to Mexican Hat during the month of May. It’s a very nice section of river, but this year we wanted to do something different, so we attempted to get a permit for the lower section of the San Juan River from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing. My friend Jackson was lucky in the permit lottery and we received our first choice of dates on the river, plus we were even able to secure our preferred reserved campsite, too. For once our plans came together nicely and easily!

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Liberty Bell Arch
Sunday, May 10, 2015

After spending the last two weekends backpacking in Grand Gulch I needed to spend a more relaxing weekend at home so I could start preparing for an upcoming trip on the San Juan River later this week. It had rained on and off all day on Saturday, but it looked like things might start finally clearing up on Sunday morning and I wanted to get out for at least one local hike this weekend. A few weeks back when I had hiked into the East Fork of Pollock Canyon I had run into Steve Obser, another local hiker, who had mentioned a nice arch in the upper section of the canyon that is known as Liberty Bell Arch (I have recently seen this same arch called Pollock Arch and Picture Window Arch). I thought that this arch might make for a nice destination this morning, so I decided to hike into the upper Pollock Canyon for a little exploring. After looking at my maps, it looked like hiking up the trail through Flume Creek Canyon and then crossing over the saddle at the far end of the Pollock Bench would be the shortest route into the upper canyon, so that’s the way I went. It was a pretty straight-forward hike and got me where I wanted to go, though I’m not really sure if it saved me much distance or elevation gain. I ended up hiking about 9.3 miles round trip this morning.

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Grand Gulch Loop
Friday – Saturday, May 1-3, 2015

After spending a few days in lower Grand Gulch last week, I went back home to work for four days before driving back down to Cedar Mesa to backpack the popular Kane Gulch to Bullet Canyon loop of Grand Gulch with Diane. This would be Diane’s first multi-night backpacking trip and she was looking forward to it. We left home late on Thursday evening after Diane got out of class and reached our campsite for the night at Coyote Flat around 10:00pm. We quickly setup camp in the dark and went to bed right away. Unfortunately, after a few hours Diane found out that her Thermarest sleeping pad was leaking and she didn’t sleep very well that night.

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