Tagged: 2016

New Year’s Eve | Saturday, December 31, 2016

Underneath Liberty Bell Arch in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.

Diane and I headed out to the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area early this morning for our final hike of 2016. We started our hike from the Rattlesnake Canyon Trailhead near Fruita and hiked up to the top of the Pollock Bench before dropping down a steep trail into Upper Pollock Canyon so we could visit Liberty Bell Arch (Pollock Arch). After checking out the arch from a few different vantage points we decided to continue down Pollock Canyon instead of returning the way had come to create a ten mile loop. While I had hiked all of this route on different trips before, it was all new for Diane.

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Christmas Weekend in Moab | Monday, December 26, 2016

A close-up view of Jeep Arch (Gold Bar Arch).

On Monday morning we checked out of our hotel in Moab and followed the Colorado River on the Potash Road until we reached the trailhead for Culvert Canyon (Dragonfly Canyon, Cameltoe Canyon) just before the mouth of Gold Bar Canyon. Our destination this morning was a short hike with some elevation gain up to Jeep Arch (Gold Bar Arch). I vaguely recalled seeing this arch about eight years ago when I took my Jeep Cherokee on the Golden Spike Trail, and I was looking forward to getting a closer look today.

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Christmas Day | Sunday, December 25, 2016

Balanced Rock and Ham Rock shortly before sunset in Arches National Park.

Since it’s become our annual tradition, Diane and I would again spend Christmas Day hiking in Arches National Park. (Previous trip reports from 2015 and 2014.) Overnight it had rained pretty hard in Moab and the forecast was also calling for snow. When we left the hotel before sunrise there was still no snow and the ground. However, as we drove into the park it did start to snow pretty hard and would continue to do so until we reached Landscape Arch in Devil’s Garden. It was very windy and cold out during this hike, and even though the sun would come out later in the morning and the temperature would rise a little, the wind kept blowing making it feel much colder out than it really was.

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Christmas Weekend in Moab | Saturday. December 24, 2016

Warm evening light makes the fins of the Behind the Rocks area glow below the La Sal Mountains.

On Saturday morning, Diane and I left home and headed down to Moab so we could spend Christmas Day in Arches National Park like we do every year. Since the holiday fell on a weekend this year, we decided to spend the entire weekend around Moab starting with a visit to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park on Saturday. While Diane has been to The Maze and Needles Districts a bunch of times with me, she had actually never visited the Island in the Sky, which happens to be the most accessible of the three. We would spend the day visiting most of the overlooks and going on a few short hikes.

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Friday & Saturday, December 9-10, 2016

The Great Hunt Panel in Cottonwood Canyon during a beautiful December sunset.

After attending a concert in Salt Lake City on Thursday night it was time to start heading back home on Friday morning. However, I planned to spend Friday afternoon and all day Saturday in Nine Mile Canyon before finishing the drive back to Grand Junction. I had hoped to revisit some sites lower in the canyon that I had not been to in many years plus find a few sites along the road that I had missed or not found during previous visits. I was also planning on photographing The Great Hunt Panel at sunset on Friday evening. For being December, the weather was not too cold and there was very little snow in the canyon. Friday afternoon was the nicer of the two days with temperatures in the upper 40’s and the sun was out, while Saturday was a little bit cooler with overcast skies and a cold wind that had picked up. Enjoy plenty of photos of the rock art below!

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