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Tag: island in the sky

Desolate Divine: Back To The Needles

Friday – Monday, January 18-21, 2019

I spent a lot of time exploring the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park last year, but I guess I couldn’t stay away very long since I found myself back there again for my first camping trip of 2019 over the long holiday weekend! With the government shutdown I was not quite sure what to expect in The Needles, but since this district of Canyonlands is usually not fully staffed in the winter I was hoping it would be business-as-usual, and it pretty much was. The only difference I could tell between a normal winter weekend and during the government shutdown was that the bathrooms in the Visitor Center were closed and the current weather forecast was not posted on the door.

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End of Trails in The Needles

Big Spring Canyon – Elephant Canyon Loop
Friday – Sunday, November 30 – December 2, 2018

After looking over the official map for the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park earlier this year, I noticed that I had hiked just about every single trail on it, so I figured it would be a good goal to try and finish hiking them all this year. After hiking a few of those remaining trails earlier in the year, I only had a few segments of trails in the Big Spring Canyon area left, so Diane and I headed down to The Needles this weekend so I could finish them up in one big loop on Saturday.

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Lost In The Maze

Under The Ledge // Five Years In The Maze
Wednesday – Monday, April 4-9, 2018

For the past four years Diane and I have been spending our Memorial Day Weekends in late May exploring the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park and the Orange Cliffs Unit of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, along with the greater Robbers Roost area to the west. The first two years were great, but the last two years were hotter and buggier than we would have liked which was not as much fun for us. I recalled that my very first trip into The Maze was in early April and that the temperature was much cooler out (we even had a little snow) and great for hiking, so this year we decided to move our trip up into early April so we would hopefully have cooler temperatures and no bugs to deal with. But as you might know, the conditions on the Colorado Plateau are never that predictable, especially in the spring.

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The Island In The Sky

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Since I already have plans and permits to spend time in The Needles and The Maze districts of Canyonlands National Park this spring, I thought it would be nice to spend a little quality time on the Island In The Sky, too. I recently realized that I haven’t done very much hiking in this part of the park yet and I really want to start changing that. This time I was not looking to hike all the way down to the White Rim and then climb back up, so I decided to start with the Neck Spring Trail and a few other shorter trails. I’ll definitely be coming back for some longer hikes later this year!

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The Search for The Sky Faces

Friday & Saturday, December 1-2, 2017

A few years back I came across an old photo of some pictographs I was unfamiliar with called the Sky Faces. Since I’ve enjoyed visiting many of the other ‘Faces Motif’ pictographs in the Canyonlands region (Four Faces, Five Faces, Thirteen Faces, etc.), I decided to try and track them down. It took me a few years, but I was finally able to figure out their location earlier this year and wanted to try and get to them before the year was over. Back in October Jared and I tried to hike to them, but we were unable to reach them via the route we took. With warmer weather sticking around this weekend I decided to head down to Canyonlands National Park after work on Friday and go on a long hike to reach the pictographs on Saturday. I ended up spending Friday night just outside the park in Bears Ears National Monument, which may have been the last time? Looking at the new maps of the Monument, I guess I would have been camped in what is now going to be the Indian Creek National Monument.

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