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Year: 2019

Muddy Creek Wilderness: Chimney Canyon

Veterans Day Weekend | Friday – Monday, November 8-11, 2019

While we have been spending the long Veterans Day Weekend backpacking somewhere along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon these past couple of years, this year I decided to find something a little closer to home since we just hiked down into Havasu Canyon a couple weeks ago and I didn’t really want to drive back to the Grand Canyon twice within a couple of weeks. After hiking through the Grand Gorge of Muddy Creek last year and then floating through The Chute of Muddy Creek earlier this year, I felt that it was time to get back to exploring more of the brand new Muddy Creek Wilderness area with a backpacking trip into Chimney Canyon. While I have spent a lot of time in the San Rafael Swell over the years, I realized that I have never actually gone on a backpacking trip there, so this would be my very first backpacking trip in the Swell and most likely our last backpacking trip of the year, too.

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Over the Edge: Island in the Sky

Grand View Point Trails: Murphy Trail Loop, Murphy Point & Gooseberry Trail
Saturday & Sunday, November 2-3, 2019

After finishing up hiking all of the official trails in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park last year I figured that it was time for me to get started working on my remaining trails on the Island in the Sky. While I have already hiked most of the official trails on the top of the mesa, I had not hiked any that descended down to the White Rim, so I wanted to change that this weekend. I figured a good starting point would be to hike a couple of the shorter trails that start from Grand View Point, including the Murphy Trail, Murphy Point Trail and Gooseberry Trail. It’s kind of funny, although the Island in the Sky is the closest district of Canyonlands to me, it’s also the one that I’ve spent the least amount of time in. I think I’m going to make it my goal to finish hiking my remaining trails in this district of Canyonlands within the next year. Let’s see how many I can squeeze in over the winter!

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Thousand Below: The Waterfalls of Havasu Canyon

Braving the Crowds and Permit Process to Finally Visit Havasupai
Wednesday – Sunday, October 23-27, 2019

I typically try to avoid crowded and very popular locations when I head out into the backcountry, but Havasu Canyon is one area that I felt I needed to make an exception for. I guess I should have tried to go over a decade ago when I first learned about this place, but who knew then how popular it was going to become thanks to Instagram and other social media platforms? This year I decided it was finally time to try to obtain permits, and although the process was very frustrating when they became available at the beginning of February, I was lucky and able to secure permits for the exact dates that I wanted at the end of October! Instead of spending our annual backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon exploring the Esplanade of the North Rim, this year we would be spending that time in Havasu Canyon.

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Roubideau Area: Old Roubideau Trail & Pool Creek

Arborglyphs on the Uncompahgre Plateau
Saturday, October 12, 2019

After spending last week hiking through the Canyons of the Escalante I decided to take it easy this weekend and stay close to home. Since I skipped out on photographing fall colors this year, I wanted to see if there were still any left up on the Uncompahgre Plateau and get a little hiking in while I was up there, so I decided to head that way on Saturday morning. It’s been a while since I headed out my door on a weekend without an itinerary in place, but that’s what I felt like doing today.

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A Pleasant Morning in Capitol Reef

Pleasant Creek | Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Friday & Saturday, October 4-5, 2019

After finishing up our hike through the Little Death Hollow Loop late in the morning we headed back to Boulder for lunch so we could figure out what we were going to do for the rest of the day and on Saturday. Originally, I had planned for one more overnight backpacking trip off of the Wolverine Loop Road, but we both decided that we wanted to head back home on Saturday afternoon so we would have Sunday to relax before going back to work on Monday, so we needed to find a day hike for Saturday morning instead. After discussing our options we figured that something in Capitol Reef National Park would be good since it wasn’t too far away and was on our way home anyways, so we set our sights on Pleasant Creek. We have both hiked parts of Pleasant Creek in the past, but had missed some things that we wanted to check out this time. Since we still had the rest of the afternoon and evening free we headed up to Capitol Reef and visited a couple rock art sites before finding a campsite just outside of Torrey for the night.

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