Category: Canyoneering

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sunset over the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park.

About three years ago I went on a ranger-guided tour of the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park with my friend Jackson to check out the area for the first time. Since I was in a group of about 25 people that day I didn’t bother to pull out my camera and take many photos and I knew that I would want to come back on my own another day.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pool Arch hidden in the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area near Moab.

On Sunday morning I met up with Marty in Moab so we could hike into the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area to visit Pool Arch (also known as Teardrop Arch) and do a little more exploring in the area. We drove over to the mouth of Pritchett Canyon along the Colorado River and started hiking up the 4×4 road. We soon left the road and began to follow a narrow slot canyon that would take us pretty much straight to the arch. Much of the hiking was easy but there was one steep section near the beginning that was a bit trickier than I had expected. At first we were a little worried we wouldn’t be able to continue, but we managed to climb up it and carry on.

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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, November 7, 2015

Tafoni lines the canyon walls and a sunburst peeks out between two rocks in Crack Canyon.

On Saturday morning Diane and I left home early and drove west into Utah to go hiking in the desert. Our destination was Crack Canyon in the San Rafael Reef which is not too far away from the much more popular Little Wild Horse Canyon and Goblin Valley State Park. After getting off the highway and following Temple Mountain Road through the reef, we took the Behind the Reef Road to Crack Canyon and drove down the wash to the Wilderness Study Area boundary. We parked here and started hiking down the canyon. It was a beautiful canyon with interesting tafoni everywhere and a few short sections of narrows. There was nice reflected light bouncing off the canyon walls so I took my time taking plenty of photos along the way. We hiked through the reef until we reached the intersection with the Chute Canyon Trail where we turned around and returned the way we had come. We didn’t see anyone else all afternoon until we were on our way back to the trailhead, and even then we only ran into a family of four and another solo hiker. The high temperature was probably in the low 50’s and it turned out to be a great day for hiking in the canyon!

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Today I headed back into Utah so I could visit Moonshine Wash in the San Rafael Desert which has been on my list of places to visit for way too long, especially since it’s not too far away from home! Moonshine Wash received it’s name from the moonshiners who were active here during prohibition. While I didn’t have a chance to visit the cement tanks near Moonshine Spring that were used to make the moonshine, I was finally able to visit and photograph the narrow slot that makes up part of this canyon.

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