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Thanksgiving Under the Bears Ears

Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 22-25, 2018

This year Diane and I kept our annual tradition of spending the long Thanksgiving weekend searching for ruins and rock art on Cedar Mesa alive. (Not counting that one year we went to New Mexico instead, of course.) Although the mountains of Colorado got a lot of much-needed snow over the holiday weekend, the precipitation mostly missed the Four Corners region and we had very pleasant hiking weather just about every day. The higher elevations of Cedar Mesa and Elk Ridge did receive a little snow on Thursday evening, but it had pretty much all melted off by Friday afternoon. As usual, we found some new sites and revisited some of our favorites, too. It wasn’t planned, but we ended up visiting three different kivas that were all pretty well-preserved and had a great weekend exploring one of my favorite areas in the southwest! Check out all the photos from our Thanksgiving adventure below!

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A Weekend in the Bears Ears

Friday – Sunday, October 26-28, 2018

This weekend I headed down to Cedar Mesa in Bears Ears National Monument after work on Friday where I met up with my friend Alan so we could go on one hike Saturday morning before he had to drive back up to Salt Lake City to catch a plane back to France. He had spent the last two weeks in the southwest and this was his last hike before heading back home. After we parted ways I spent the rest of the weekend hiking and searching for ruins and rock art on my own. The weather was pretty nice for hiking but there was a little more humidity than I would have preferred. I guess I should also mention that this is my 900th trip report here on ADVENTR.co! Enjoy these photos I took over the weekend!

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Gallivanting Through The Grabens

Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Saturday, October 5-6, 2018

After spending the previous two nights at the Horsehoof Campsite in Canyonlands National Park it was time for us to move on. When we got our permit for Horsehoof on Wednesday morning we also picked up a backpacking permit for the Red Lake / Grabens At-Large Backpacking Zone for tonight, so we still had one more night left in the Needles District. Aside from driving through Devils Lane a bunch of times and hiking down the Lower Red Lake Canyon Trail earlier this year, I had never really explored this remote area of the park and was looking forward to it. I really don’t think very many people venture out this way.

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Searching for Starvation Pocket

Southern Utah Wanderings | Thursday, October 4, 2018

After driving into The Needles on Wednesday morning and spending the day exploring the fringes of Canyonlands National Park, it was time for us to spend our first full day hiking into Starvation Pocket. We had originally thought about doing this hike as an overnight backpack, but we were running short on time this trip and already had a different overnight trip planned, so we decided to just do this one as a long day-hike instead. In hindsight it probably would have been better to do this one as an overnighter since we found a lot of cool stuff and were unable to explore the whole area we wanted to. I guess that just means I will have to return again in the future for another hike here!

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The Edge of The Needles

Southern Utah Wanderings | Wednesday, October 3, 2018

All the rain we had received the previous day made me a little bit nervous about trying to drive into Beef Basin, which was our original plan for today. I’ve driven that road in the rain before and it was a slippery mess. I didn’t want to have to do that again! So instead of heading into Beef Basin we decided to see if we could get a last-minute campsite in The Needles and drive over Elephant Hill instead. Since the Visitor’s Center didn’t open until 9:00am we slept in later than normal and took our time taking down camp. We arrived at the Visitor’s Center about ten minutes before they opened and there were already a bunch of people waiting to get in. When the doors opened we were the first ones in the Backcounty Office and found that one of the Bobby Jo campsites and the Horsehoof campsite were still open, which is the area we wanted to be in. I had never stayed at any of these sites before, so we decided to give Horsehoof a try for the next two nights. It turned out to be an excellent decision since I think Horsehoof is now one of my favorite campsites in all of Canyonlands National Park! Thankfully we got into the Backcountry Office for our permit when we did, because as we left there was a long line out the door!

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