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Category: Photographing

Canyons of the Black Ridge: Perseverance Arch

Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness: West Fork of Jones Canyon
Saturday, April 18, 2020

Hiking to Perseverance Arch in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness area has been on my to-do list for a long time. I’ve always thought that I would do it as an overnight backpacking trip since it’s a pretty long hike, which is part of the reason why I kept putting it off. Now that I’ve been having to stay closer to home during the quarantine, I’ve been going through my list of local hikes that I never made time for in the past, and I decided that it was finally time for me to visit Perseverance Arch and cross it off my list! I figured that this long and remote hike would offer me plenty of solitude near home on a Saturday when it seems like more people than ever are getting outdoors in the area. I left home well before sunrise on Saturday morning and drove up to the trailhead in Glade Park so I could get an early start.

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Ribbon Canyon

Bangs Canyon Recreation Area
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

This evening after work I headed out to explore a local canyon that’s found near The Ribbon Trail in the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area, just outside of the Colorado National Monument. Earlier this year I had come across a recent canyoneering trip report for this canyon, which they called Ribbon Canyon, and I thought it looked like it would be a nice place to visit after work one day. Well, now that I have to stay closer to home, I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to check out this short canyon! Although the canyoneers who posted the original trip report had rappelled down into the canyon from above, I thought I’d hike up from the bottom to see how far I could get. It turns out that I was able to see the best parts of the canyon before I got stopped by a high dryfall. I must say, this is probably the nicest canyon that I have ever visited this close to home, and I really enjoyed my evening spent here!

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Getting Lost in the West End

Silveys Pocket to the Dolores River, Petroglyphs in Paradox & La Sal Creek
Friday – Sunday, April 3-5, 2020

With all of southern Utah essentially shut down to non-locals right now, this weekend I tried to pick one of the more remote areas in western Colorado that wasn’t too far from home to go explore. Ever since I floated through Slick Rock Canyon on the Dolores River last year I have wanted to get back to hike some of the side canyons that we were unable to visit on that trip, so I thought the Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area would be the perfect place to go. I left right from work on Friday and was completely self-contained in my Jeep with food and fuel for the entire weekend so I wouldn’t have to make any stops along the way. I followed the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic Byway to Naturita and then headed over to Big Gypsum Valley where I crossed the bridge over the Dolores River beyond the boat ramp and found a place to camp along the rim of Silveys Pocket.

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Waterpocket Fold: Lower Muley Twist Canyon

Friday – Sunday, March 27-29, 2020

This weekend Diane and I headed over to Capitol Reef National Park so we could get in one last backpacking trip before Colorado and Utah were both completely shut down and only open to local residents due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. At this point in time it was still OK to visit and camp within Wayne and Garfield Counties in Utah, plus Capitol Reef National Park was still open, so the trip was a go! We knew that this was probably going to be our last backpacking trip into Utah for a while, so we decided to visit Lower Muley Twist Canyon since it’s a canyon I’ve wanted to explore for a long time and I thought it would be a great place to practice social distancing. It turned out to be a great choice since we would only briefly see one other person the entire weekend, plus the scenery was spectacular!

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West Side Wandering: Fingers of Salt Creek Canyon

Thursday – Sunday, March 12-15, 2020

This year for our annual early season backpacking trip to The Needles we returned to one of my favorite places on the Colorado Plateau- Salt Creek Canyon. Although I have spent a lot of time in this canyon over the years, Diane had never been here before, so I was looking forward to showing her around on her first visit and searching for new traces of the ancient ones that called this canyon home. Instead of it being just the two of us, this time we also invited our friend Jerry along since I know he’s always up for a nice walk through Salt Creek Canyon. We planned to meet up with him on Friday morning at the Visitor Center since I had to stop there to pick up the permit that I had reserved online four months in advance.

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