Monthly Archives: May 2017

Maze Memorial Weekend IV | Memorial Day Weekend
Friday – Monday, May 26-29, 2017

A beautiful sunset from the summit of Observation Rock along the edge of The Orange Cliffs.

After spending the last three Memorial Day Weekends in and around The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park, this year we decided to skip visiting The Maze proper and stayed on top of The Orange Cliffs in Robber’s Roost country. As usual, we left home after work on Friday evening and headed west into Utah. We stopped for a quick dinner and to fuel up the Jeep in Green River and then made our way to the Hans Flat Ranger Station to pickup our permit for the weekend. The wind was pretty brutal this evening and it really took a toll on my fuel mileage during the drive. There was a lot of sand blowing across the road to Hans Flat in places, but the sky and light was pretty nice during the drive. It looked like there was a good chance for one nice sunset before the clouds disappeared for the remainder of the weekend.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

A little afterglow on the sandstone at dusk in the Colorado National Monument.

I’ve been wanting to photograph sunset from Gold Star Canyon in the Colorado National Monument for a while now, but every time I think about heading up that way it seems the sky doesn’t want to cooperate with me. Late this evening the sky was looking good for the possibility of a nice sunset, so I headed over to the White Rocks Trailhead and hiked up into Gold Star Canyon. Unfortunately, as I was hiking into the canyon more clouds started to build over the valley and my hopes for a nice sunset never really materialized. While I was waiting around I found out that the biting gnats are now out for the season and they were pretty annoying. I stuck around until about 30 minutes after the sun had set hoping for some color, but it never really happened aside from a little afterglow. I guess I will have to try again another time.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chris floating the Gunnison River through the Dominguez – Escalante National Conservation Area.

Over a month ago I planned a river trip with Jackson and Chris so we could check out a new section of the lower Gunnison River starting at Confluence Park in Delta to the takeout at Escalante Canyon. We had originally planned on going Saturday, but because of a late-season winter storm that came through the area at the end of the week, which really brought down the temperature, we pushed it back to Sunday and hoped it would warm up a little. With the change of plans, Diane and I went hiking in the Gunnison Gorge on the Chukar Trail on Saturday instead.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

A nice view up the Gunnison River from the bottom of the Chukar Trail in the Black Canyon.

This weekend Diane and I stayed closer to home since I was hoping to raft part of the lower Gunnison River on Sunday. I guess this plan worked out well since the battery in my Jeep died on Friday and I had to wait until Saturday morning at 9:00am to pickup a new one and then install it. Because of that delay we left home later in the morning and decided to go on a short hike into the Gunnison Gorge on the Chukar Trail. The Chukar Trail is one of four main trails on the west side of the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area that you can take down to the Gunnison River. It’s also the easiest of the four, coming in at 1.1 miles in length (one way) and descending 560 feet. The only other trail I have hiked down before was the Ute Trail a couple of years ago, which is the longest and has the most elevation loss. The delay in the morning actually worked in our favor since we needed to wait a little while for the roads to dry out from the late-season winter storm that had just moved through the area the past couple of days.

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Saturday & Sunday, May 13-14, 2017

Hiking through The Goosenecks of Sulphur Creek in Capitol Reef National Park.

Sulphur Creek is a canyon in Capitol Reef National Park that I have wanted to hike for way too long, and since I’m making an effort this year to go to places that have been on my to-do list for a long time it was finally time to give it a shot. Diane and I left home very early on Saturday morning and drove west through Green River and Hanksville on our way to Fruita in Capitol Reef. We made a brief stop at the Visitor Center to drop off my bike and then continued down the road a few more miles to the Chimney Rock Trailhead.

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