Category: Four-Wheeling

Friday & Saturday, December 1-2, 2017

A view of The Sky Faces in their precarious location within Canyonlands National Park.

A few years back I came across an old photo of some pictographs I was unfamiliar with called the Sky Faces. Since I’ve enjoyed visiting many of the other ‘Faces Motif’ pictographs in the Canyonlands region (Four Faces, Five Faces, Thirteen Faces, etc.), I decided to try and track them down. It took me a few years, but I was finally able to figure out their location earlier this year and wanted to try and get to them before the year was over. Back in October Jared and I tried to hike to them, but we were unable to reach them via the route we took. With warmer weather sticking around this weekend I decided to head down to Canyonlands National Park after work on Friday and go on a long hike to reach the pictographs on Saturday. I ended up spending Friday night just outside the park in Bears Ears National Monument, which may have been the last time? Looking at the new maps of the Monument, I guess I would have been camped in what is now going to be the Indian Creek National Monument.

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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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Southern Utah Wanderings | Fall Colors 2017
Monday, October 2, 2017

Early morning alpenglow on South Peak (11,122) in the Abajo Mountains from our campsite.

After spending the weekend in the northern section of Bears Ears National Monument and Canyonlands National Park, we moved a little further south into the Abajo Mountains (Blue Mountains) so we could get a little peak-bagging in on our trip. Since I’ve hiked the highest peaks in the La Sal Mountains and Henry Mountains, I thought it would be nice to complete the trifecta by reaching the summit of Abajo Peak (11,360), the highest point in the Abajo Mountains. This one is a little easier than the others though, since there is a good road all the way up to the top because of all the towers and antennas up there. Shortly after sunrise we broke down our camp located at the base of the Abajo Mountains and drove up the road to the summit. There were some nice views along the way.

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Southern Utah Wanderings | Northern Bears Ears
Friday – Sunday, September 29 – October 1, 2017

A large hoodoo we visited while exploring the northern portion of Bears Ears National Monument.

This year for my annual weeklong trip into southern Utah during the first week of October I met up with Jared and we spent most of the week exploring, hiking, four-wheeling, camping, backpacking, peak-bagging and photographing within Bears Ears National Monument. The first few days of our trip were spent in the northern part of the Bears Ears between Canyonlands National Park and Lockhart Basin. (We did a little hiking into Canyonlands, too.) We were hoping to visit a few new pictograph panels and maybe find some ruins, but we ran into some issue that prevented us from reaching the rock art sites we were looking for this time, so we will definitely have to come back and try again another time. Here are some photos from the first three days of the trip.

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Friday & Sunday, September 15 & 17, 2017

Unusual goblins under a stormy sky near the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area.

After hiking to the summit of Corcoran Point from the Tellerico Trail in the Book Cliffs two years ago, I got a nice view of Corcoran Peak (8,076) and thought it would be a good peak close to home to try climbing another time. Since we were staying around home this weekend to go to a concert on Saturday, I thought it would be a good idea to head out to the Little Book Cliffs after work on Friday, catch the sunset, spend the night and then climb Corcoran Peak on Saturday morning before going to the concert. The plan was going well until after sunset when it started to rain pretty heavily. This is not an area you want to be in when the roads get wet, so I ended up heading home instead of camping and then returning late Sunday morning to try the climb again.

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