The Edge of The Swell II
Sunday, January 14, 2018
After spending Saturday exploring northern canyons of the San Rafael Reef, we headed further south on Sunday morning near Temple Mountain and Goblin Valley to hike another canyon that cuts through the Reef. A few years back Diane and I had hiked Crack Canyon and really enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a good day to come back and hike it’s neighbor, Chute Canyon. Typically, these two canyons are linked together to make a nice long loop, but I’m actually glad we hiked them separately so we could spend plenty of time exploring each of them on their own.
Welcome to the Chute Canyon Trailhead.
A colorful boulder we passed early on our hike into the canyon.
There were some big sections of solid ice near the beginning of the canyon.
I stopped and took a lot of photos during our hike through Chute Canyon, so I’ll let the photos do most of the talking…
Look closely on the left side of the canyon and you can see a small arch.
The golden light reflecting onto this wall in the canyon was amazing!
Into the light…
After exiting the other side of the San Rafael Reef we visited this pictograph and then returned back up the canyon.
The nice thing about not hiking a loop and returning the same way you had come from is that you can see the canyon in different light on the way back.
Almost back to the trailhead…
After returning to the Jeep we headed back through Temple Wash and into the San Rafael Desert where we would go on one more hike through our second Cottonwood Wash of the weekend in search of rock art.
Frost-covered ripples in the sand.
A colorful alcove with cracked and peeling dried mud.
I found these cool mud cracks with animal tracks imprinted into them.
We found this old undated inscription from H.T. Yokey on the canyon wall. After some research I found that Harry T. Yokey was a steamboat pilot who moved to Elgin, Utah in 1903 and operated many boats on the Green River. Apparently he left a number of other inscriptions in Labyrinth Canyon.
More cracked mud in a narrow section of the canyon.
Very faint Barrier Canyon Style pictographs we spotted from the wash.
Diane searches the canyon walls for more rock art.
The last petroglyph panel we found on a large boulder before we climbed out of the canyon, returned to my Jeep and then started our drive back home at sunset. It was a great weekend of exploring!