Category: Backpacking

The Panther Gallery, Shaman’s Gallery & Turret Site
Veterans Day Weekend | Thursday – Monday, November 9-13, 2017

The Panther Gallery (Cat Site) is an impressive example of the Grand Canyon Polychrome Style.

This year for the extended Veterans Day weekend Diane and I headed down to the Arizona Strip where we met up with our friend Jerry to backpack and hike along the Esplanade in search of Grand Canyon Polychrome pictographs. By the end of the weekend we would visit The Panther Gallery, Shaman’s Gallery and Turret Site. We also made stops at Toroweap and Paiute Cave since we were in the area. The weather was pretty nice for the entire weekend with highs in the low 70’s and the lows at night in the 40’s. Unfortunately, the Esplanade was pretty dry this time around and we had to carry all the water we would need which added quite a bit of weight to our packs. I’ve wanted to see The Panther Gallery (Cat Site) for a long time and was happy to finally get a chance to see it up close and personal. Enjoy some photos from the weekend!

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Southern Utah Wanderings | Cedar Mesa
Tuesday – Thursday, October 3-5, 2017

Long Front Ruin hidden in an alcove on Cedar Mesa within Bears Ears National Monument.

After spending Monday in the Abajo Mountains and the previous weekend in the northern section of The Bears Ears, it was time to head over to Cedar Mesa so we could spend then next couple of days exploring some new areas of this part of The Bears Ears searching for new ruins and rock art sites. Here are a few photos from the remainder of our trip…

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East Fork & Middle Fork of The Cimarron River
Labor Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, September 2-4, 2017

Sunset on Uncompahgre Peak from the East Fork of the Cimarron River.

Labor Day weekend was upon us again, which meant it was time for another backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness! This would be our fourth year in a row backpacking into the northern valleys of the wilderness area, starting with our Wetterhorn Basin (West Fork) trip back in 2014, then continuing with trips into Big Blue Creek and Fall Creek. Earlier this summer we were also able to go on a quick overnighter along the Little Cimarron River to make up for our failed loop last year. With only two remaining major valleys left, we planned to combine the East Fork and the Middle Fork of the Cimarron River into a two night trip that I’ve called The Cimarron Loop.

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Seneca Lake, Island Lake & Titcomb Basin
Thursday – Monday, August 17-21, 2017

The Great American Eclipse viewed from the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

The plans for this particular trip started to come together well over a year ago when I first learned about The Great American Eclipse happening on August 21, 2017. The last total eclipse visible from the United States was before I was born, so I really wanted to make an effort to experience this one. After looking at a map of the path of totality, I saw that this one was going to be visible right over the Wind River Range in Wyoming which is only about a six hour drive from home. While I had briefly visited the Wind Rivers outside of Lander about ten years ago, I’ve wanted to go on a backpacking trip into the Bridger Wilderness for a pretty long time now and figured that this would be the perfect opportunity. Early in the planning stages I set my sights on backpacking into the Island Lake and Titcomb Basin area below Fremont Peak from the Elkhart Park Trailhead near Pinedale. I figured that this popular and beautiful area would be a good introduction to backpacking in the Wind Rivers. As the date of the eclipse got closer and more and more people learned about it from social media, I figured that this area of Wyoming was probably going to be much busier than usual, but I decided against changing our plans and was willing to make that sacrifice for this possible once-in-a-lifetime event.

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Saturday & Sunday, July 15-16, 2017

View from our campsite along the Little Cimarron River in the Uncompahgre Wilderness.

Last Labor Day weekend, Diane and I had set off to complete a three day loop in the Uncompahgre Wilderness connecting the Fall Creek Trail and the Little Cimarron Trail. Unfortunately, stormy weather prevented us from crossing over the high ridge into the Little Cimarron River valley, so we had to cut our trip short and returned the way we had come. This weekend we decided to go on an overnight trip along the Little Cimarron River to make up for it since I’ve been itching to get back into the Uncompahgre Wilderness, which is one of my favorite, and often overlooked, wilderness areas close to home.

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