Monthly Archives: January 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A scenic location inside Little Wild Horse Canyon within the San Rafael Reef.

Years ago I tried hiking into Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon, which are slot canyons that cut through the San Rafael Reef near Goblin Valley State Park, but I was chased away by thunderstorms that day and have never returned to try again. Since that time the popularity of these slot canyons have exploded, which is part of the reason I had never bothered to return. I finally decided that it was time to head back this weekend to hike these San Rafael Swell classics. I was hoping that we wouldn’t run into the large crowds that these canyons attract since it’s the middle of winter, and we didn’t. We would only pass one single hiker during our entire hike and that happened on the old road used to connect the two canyons together to form a loop.

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Late this morning Diane and I headed back to the mouth of Devil’s Canyon just outside of Fruita so I could finish hiking a few of the trail segments that I had not been on before. We ended up making a big loop that was about 6.5 miles in length with a stop at a nice overlook into Devil’s Canyon. While most of the trails were still snow-covered, especially higher and on the north side of the cliffs, there were other sections that had melted off entirely. Early in our hike those sections were frozen, but on our way back to the trailhead we encountered a few muddy areas that had started melting in the sun and the above-freezing temperature.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A beautiful sunrise from the Grand View overlook in the Colorado National Monument.

Visiting the Colorado National Monument in the winter with a fresh coat of snow and canyons filled with fog is a magical experience that doesn’t happen too often. But that’s exactly what I woke up to this morning! I took a detour on my way to work so I could spend a little time photographing the sunrise in these conditions and I’m glad that I did since it turned out to be one of the more spectacular sunrises I’ve witnessed in the Monument. Enjoy the photos!

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Overlooking Ouray from the Million Dollar Highway near the Ice Park.

Even though we didn’t make it to the Ouray Ice Festival last year or yesterday, we did finally get back there this morning. We left home shortly before sunrise and arrived at the Ice Park just in time to catch the start of the Speed Competition. It was snowing pretty good when the competition first started, but the snow eventually stopped and the sun even made a few appearances throughout the morning.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

We were originally planning to drive down to Ouray this morning for the annual Ice Festival, but Diane wasn’t feeling very well when we got up so we stayed home. Instead, I headed out this afternoon to get a little local hiking in at the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area trails near Fruita. I have hiked a few of the “K” trails near the mouth of Kodels Canyon in the past but had not been on all of them, so I decided to try and check out the rest. I started from the Kodels Canyon Trailhead along the highway and ended up hiking all of the remaining “K” trails that I had not been on before. The length of the hike ended up being just under 5.5 miles. The temperature outside was a little bit above freezing and I was glad that most of the trails were still covered with a layer of packed snow or I probably would have had to deal with hiking in the mud. Much of the day was overcast and a little gloomy but the sun did show up for a little while and brought a little blue sky, too. I didn’t take many photos on this hike because of the overcast conditions, but I did take a few snapshots along the way when the sun was out.

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