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Tag: behind the reef road

Muddy Creek Country

The Grand Gorge of Muddy Creek & Skyline Rim
Friday – Sunday, May 11-13, 2018

This weekend I left after work on Friday and headed down into Muddy Creek Country at the southern end of the San Rafael Swell. I have wanted to hike into the Grand Gorge of Muddy Creek for many years now and decided it was finally time to go do it! As I was driving west into Utah there was a pretty strong headwind which killed my fuel mileage, but since the weather forecast was predicting strong winds all weekend, I was expecting it. I just hoped that the wind gusts wouldn’t interfere with my plans too much. It’s just the typical spring weather on the Colorado Plateau! I made a quick stop in Green River to fill up my tank and then continued up onto the Swell where I planned to spend the night near the old Hidden Splendor Mine.

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Chute Canyon

The Edge of The Swell II
Sunday, January 14, 2018

After spending Saturday exploring northern canyons of the San Rafael Reef, we headed further south on Sunday morning near Temple Mountain and Goblin Valley to hike another canyon that cuts through the Reef. A few years back Diane and I had hiked Crack Canyon and really enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a good day to come back and hike it’s neighbor, Chute Canyon. Typically, these two canyons are linked together to make a nice long loop, but I’m actually glad we hiked them separately so we could spend plenty of time exploring each of them on their own.

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Little Wild Horse Canyon & Bell Canyon

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Years ago I tried hiking into Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon, which are slot canyons that cut through the San Rafael Reef near Goblin Valley State Park, but I was chased away by thunderstorms that day and have never returned to try again. Since that time the popularity of these slot canyons have exploded, which is part of the reason I had never bothered to return. I finally decided that it was time to head back this weekend to hike these San Rafael Swell classics. I was hoping that we wouldn’t run into the large crowds that these canyons attract since it’s the middle of winter, and we didn’t. We would only pass one single hiker during our entire hike and that happened on the old road used to connect the two canyons together to form a loop.

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Crack Canyon

Saturday, November 7, 2015

On Saturday morning Diane and I left home early and drove west into Utah to go hiking in the desert. Our destination was Crack Canyon in the San Rafael Reef which is not too far away from the much more popular Little Wild Horse Canyon and Goblin Valley State Park. After getting off the highway and following Temple Mountain Road through the reef, we took the Behind the Reef Road to Crack Canyon and drove down the wash to the Wilderness Study Area boundary. We parked here and started hiking down the canyon. It was a beautiful canyon with interesting tafoni everywhere and a few short sections of narrows. There was nice reflected light bouncing off the canyon walls so I took my time taking plenty of photos along the way. We hiked through the reef until we reached the intersection with the Chute Canyon Trail where we turned around and returned the way we had come. We didn’t see anyone else all afternoon until we were on our way back to the trailhead, and even then we only ran into a family of four and another solo hiker. The high temperature was probably in the low 50’s and it turned out to be a great day for hiking in the canyon!

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