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My Ten Favorite Trip Reports of 2014

For some reason I never posted my favorite trip reports for 2013, but I’m bringing it back this year with my favorites from 2014. I had an amazing year and visited a lot of new places, plus revisited some others. I think I took some nice photos along the way and had a lot of fun. All of the photos on this site come from these trips. I try to post my best photos over here on Anasazi Photography, but there are plenty of other photos in my trip reports that don’t make the cut and help document my adventures.

Here are my top ten favorite trip reports from 2014. As you might notice, I had a great year in Canyonlands National Park.

>> Maze Memorial Weekend

After the Storm

An amazing three days spent in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park over Memorial Day weekend. The sunrise on our last morning will be hard to forget!

>> Sand Cove & Yellow Rock

Coyote Buttes

My first visit to Coyote Buttes North this year and I had some beautiful conditions. I spent much of the day hiking in lesser-traveled areas on my own. I also finally managed to make it to Yellow Rock. I’ve been trying to get there for years!

>> Wetterhorn Basin

Peak & Clouds

A nice overnight backpacking trip in the San Juan Mountains. The highlight of this trip was climbing to the top of a nearby 13er to catch a spectacular sunset!

>> Blue Lakes

Wolcott Morning

Another location in the San Juan Mountains that I have wanted to visit for a few years. It’s a beautiful area and there were plenty of wildflowers to be found.

>> Salt Creek Canyon

All American Man

My desire to someday visit Salt Creek Canyon was part of the driving force for me to start backpacking a few years back. I was finally able to reach this goal and had a great trip in the spring!

>> Fall Colors in the Elk Mountains

Mount Sopris Alpenglow

My annual Fall Colors trips in Colorado rarely disappoint, and this year was no exception in the Elk Mountains.

>> A Needles Tour

Cave Glow

I always have a great time exploring the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.

>> Courthouse Mountain

Storm Light

After climbing Courthouse Mountain in the morning, I was treated to an exceptional sunset in Gray Copper Gulch before going to sleep for the night.

>> The White Rim

White Rim Sunset

I’ve tried to complete the White Rim Trail a few times in the past, but something has always prevented me from doing so. 2014 was the year I finally completed the loop.

>> Cedar Mesa for Thanksgiving

Oven Ruin

What’s better than spending the long Thanksgiving weekend hiking and searching for ruins and rock art on Cedar Mesa?

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The Wave covered with Snow

When Diane and I visited The Wave in Coyote Buttes North on New Year’s Day, we had to hike through about 6 inches of fresh snow that had fallen overnight. It made the hike a little more difficult, but it was also a lot of fun! I have been to The Wave almost a dozen times over the past few years, but the snow made it a whole new experience.

Here are a few preview photos that will be showing up in the trip report when I get it done.

As you can see, much of the wave was covered in snow.

Snow Wave

The Passage next to The Wave had the least amount of snow allowing for some contrast between the sandstone and snow.

Passage Snow

Snow Passage

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Mesa County Old Courthouse Art Exhibit

Blur

I just wanted to give anyone in Grand Junction and the rest of the Grand Valley a heads up that I will have a few photos on display at the Mesa County Old Courthouse (544 Rood Avenue) through the end of March. The display is located on the third floor just outside of the Commissioners offices and features a 24×36″ gallery wrap of the photo above, plus five others in smaller sizes.

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Bag Night Challenge 2014

High Spur Camp

For the past couple of years I have been keeping track of my nights spent camping throughout the year over on Backcountrypost. It’s just a friendly competition that helps motivate us all to get out more. You can find this years post where we kept track of our nights here.

In 2014 I managed to spent 50 nights out under the stars and I was also able to spend at least one night out each month of the year.

This is my final count:

Total: 50 Nights

  • January 31 – February 2 | Stateline | 2 Nights
  • March 14-16 | Johns Canyon & Butler Wash | 2 Nights
  • March 29-30 | The Wedge | 1 Night
  • April 18-19 | No Thoroughfare Canyon | 1 Night
  • April 30 – May 4 | Salt Creek Canyon | 4 Nights
  • May 11-14 | Montezuma Canyon & The San Juan River | 3 Nights
  • May 23-26 | High Spur, Millard Canyon & Maze Overlook | 3 Nights
  • June 7-8 | Black Canyon of the Gunnison | 1 Night
  • June 21-22 | Ouray Amphitheater | 1 Night
  • June 28-29 | Firehole Canyon | 1 Night
  • July 12-13 | South Fork Clear Creek | 1 Night
  • July 18-20 | South Fork Mineral Creek | 2 Nights
  • July 26-27 | Mineral Basin | 1 Night
  • July 29-30 | Kite Lake | 1 Night
  • August 2-3 | Blue Lakes | 1 Night
  • August 9-10 | Lead King Basin | 1 Night
  • August 16-17 | Lake Fork | 1 Night
  • August 22-26 | Devils Fire, Whitney Portal, Whitney Trail Camp, Amargosa Desert | 4 Nights
  • August 30 – September 1 | Wetterhorn Basin & Mineral Basin | 2 Nights
  • September 12-14 | The White Rim | 2 Nights
  • September 20-21 | Gray Copper Gulch | 1 Night
  • September 27-28 | Prince Creek | 1 Night
  • October 4-11 | The Gulch, Egypt (x2), Fortymile Ridge, Coyote Gulch, Harris Wash, Little Spencer Flat | 7 Nights
  • October 24-26 | Devils Kitchen | 2 Nights
  • November 27-30 | Natural Bridges National Monument | 3 Nights
  • December 5-6 | Knowles Canyon Overlook | 1 Night

Diane is also pretty happy since she kept track of her nights camping this year, too. She ended up camping 24 of these nights with me.

Not sure if I’ll be able to beat this number in 2015, but I’ll sure try!

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Soft Lines

I have been going through my photos from my recent trip to northern Arizona and have found quite a few that I like. I just wanted to share this one since it’s one of my favorites so far. This image was taken in Coyote Buttes North near the Second Wave while this area was still mostly in the shade. The tops of the ridges have kept the cooler tones of the shaded light because they were not catching any of the warmer light that was reflecting off the red sandstone across the canyon. I love the contrast between the warmer and cooler tones in this image.

 

Soft Lines

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