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Tag: bears ears

The Abajo Mountains

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

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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The Upper San Juan River Canyon

Sand Island to Mexican Hat
Friday – Monday, June 16-19, 2017

Hot!!! That’s the one word I would use to describe our most recent trip down the upper San Juan River. Even though I didn’t have much time off from work this summer because of our wedding and honeymoon in March, I was able to squeeze in a short river trip on the San Juan from Sand Island to Mexican Hat. While I have floated this stretch of the river a few times before (20132014), it’s still a favorite of mine and I certainly don’t mind repeating it. In the past our group has done this trip during the month of May and both times it turned out to be colder than we had expected, so this year we decided to try going in June for warmer weather, although I was a little concerned about how bad the bugs might be at this time of the year. Who knew that we would be going on this trip during a heat wave in the southwest when we got our permit?

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Cedar Mesa Ruins

Friday – Sunday, June 9-11, 2017

Typically I avoid visiting Cedar Mesa in June because of the hotter temperatures and especially because of the annoying cedar gnats (no-see-ums) that are usually prevalent at this time of the year. However, I made an exception this year since my friend Alan and his father would be visiting the area this weekend and invited me to join them. Our friend Jerry, who I met last year on a backpacking trip on the Arizona Strip was going to be there and my old friend John Mumaw, who I hadn’t seen in a few years, was also going to be stopping by.

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Step Canyon & Pine Canyon Loop

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On Wednesday morning Jared and I woke up with the sun, broke down camp and then hopped into my Jeep so we could drive a little further down the Mormon Trail to begin our hike. Today we would be hiking a loop starting in Step Canyon and following it down to the confluence with Pine Canyon which we then planned to hike up to complete the loop. Hiking down through Step Canyon was pretty easy with only a few obstacles that we had to get around, but as soon as we reached Pine Canyon we found that much of the canyon bottom was either full of water or slick mud and in order to get around those sections we had to deal with bushwhacking through thick vegetation. I’m sure if the canyon were dry it would have been an easy hike, but it was not too much fun today.

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Sand Canyon to Cedar Mesa

Monday, October 3, 2016

Even though the weather forecast had predicted a 100% chance of rain for my current location overnight, there were only a few sprinkles that didn’t even manage to get anything wet. I didn’t have any plans for photographing the sunrise this morning, so I woke up when it started to get light out and headed into Cortez for a quick breakfast on my way to the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. I have long wanted to hike up Sand Canyon to checkout the ruins there and figured it was finally time to do so before I continued my journey into Utah.

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