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Tag: dolores river

Thanksgiving Weekend on Cedar Mesa

Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 28 – December 1, 2019

This year for Thanksgiving Diane and I planned to spend the long holiday weekend searching for ruins and rock art on Cedar Mesa like we usually do at this time of the year. However, this year we had to deal with a winter storm that impacted the area and required us to change our plans on the fly. Although I wasn’t able to hike in the canyons I had originally planned for this trip, we managed to avoid most of the weather and find things to do throughout the weekend. Here are some photos from the weekend in no particular order…

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River of Sorrows: The Dolores River

Slick Rock Canyon | Big Gypsum Valley to Bedrock
Friday – Saturday, June 14-15, 2019

Early Spanish explorers called it El Rio de Nuestra Señora de Dolores, or the River of Our Lady of Sorrows translated into English. Today it’s known as the Dolores River, which begins as snowmelt high up in the San Juan Mountains near Bolam Pass and empties into the Colorado River in Utah after traveling through the canyon country of western Colorado. For a long time I have wanted to float the Dolores River through Slick Rock Canyon, which begins at Big Gypsum Valley and ends at Paradox Valley, but since the water of the river is usually siphoned off at the McPhee Reservoir upstream there is typically only a very short window of time to actually do it, if there is any opportunity at all! So far I had never been able to make the timing work for a trip, however, with the high snowpack in the San Juan Mountains this year it looked like I was finally going to be able to get my chance!

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Roc Creek Petroglyphs

Sunday, December 10, 2017

On Sunday morning we left home shortly after sunrise and drove through Unaweep Canyon to Gateway and then continued along the Dolores River to visit a petroglyph panel located in Roc Creek Canyon. We had actually spent some time searching for this particular panel a few years ago (I believe it was on our way back home from this trip to Paradox Valley), but were unable to find them that day while driving the road through the canyon and scanning the cliffs with our binoculars. At the time I had no clue where they were located, I only knew that there was supposed to be a panel of petroglyphs somewhere in the canyon. Then a few months ago I picked up a map from WETA (West End Trails Alliance) and was surprised to find that it showed a hiking trail right to the petroglyphs!

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Paradox Valley Petroglyphs

Saturday, November 21, 2015

On Saturday morning Diane and I left home early to drive to Paradox Valley in search of some new rock art. Early on during our drive through Unaweep Canyon before the sun came up we saw quite a few large elk crossing the road and had to slow down to avoid hitting any. One almost ran right into the side of my Jeep as we were stopping to let a group cross the road, but luckily she stopped and turned at the last second. It was a pretty close call!

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The Rain Man Site

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I decided last minute on Saturday that I was going to head down to Slick Rock Canyon of the Dolores River to try and visit a new pictograph site on Sunday. I texted Marty in the late afternoon to see if he was available to go with me. He was up for it, so we met just outside of Whitewater bright and early on Sunday morning to drive down to Big Gypsum Valley for the hike. On our drive along the Unaweep – Tabeguache Scenic Byway we caught the sunrise over the Dolores River near Uravan.

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