Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: la sal mountains

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!

2 Comments

Secrets of Canyonlands

Friday – Sunday, March 22-24, 2019

This past week was an unusual one for me since I spent most of it in Rifle, Colorado attending a training class so I could get a Remote Pilot Certification (FAA Small UAS Rule, Part 107) for work. The funny thing is that I have never touched a drone in my life, and as of Friday morning I am now an FAA certified Drone Pilot! After taking the required test at the Grand Junction Airport on Friday morning and then having lunch with Diane afterwards, I drove into Utah through scattered storms to Moab before continuing on to The Needles for the second weekend in a row. On Sunday morning I was going to be meeting up with my friend Clyde so we could go on a hike together, but until then I was going to be spending Friday evening and all day Saturday revisiting a few rock art sites and searching for new ruins and rock art panels on my own. I would find a couple of secrets along the way…

Leave a Comment

Lost Canyon Loop

Thursday – Sunday, March 14-17, 2019

Last March Diane and I had such a nice time backpacking through Chesler Park and Elephant Canyon in Canyonlands National Park on our first backpacking trip of the season, that we decided to head back to The Needles for another early season backpacking trip this year, too! I think this might become one of our new annual traditions, at least for a couple of years! The Needles is a great place to get back into backpacking mode after taking a few months off, so at the end of last year I reserved a couple of campsites during the first full weekend that the park was back open and operational again in the middle of March for our trip. This year we decided to hike a loop through Lost Canyon and Big Spring Canyon because it had been almost seven years since the last time I hiked through Lost Canyon and I wanted to get back to explore it more thoroughly.

7 Comments

Return To Silence: Delicate Arch

New Year’s Day | Tuesday, January 1, 2019

To be honest, I never thought I would be visiting Delicate Arch in Arches National Park ever again since it’s become a very busy place over the past few years. However, there was a perfect storm of events that allowed Diane and I to watch the first sunset of 2019 at Delicate Arch with our friend Jared and absolutely no one else around! When I saw that the road into Arches National Park was closed on Monday morning because of a snowstorm and there was no money to plow and maintain it because of the government shutdown, I knew instantly that I needed to try and get to Delicate Arch for sunset on New Year’s Day if it didn’t open back up before then!

4 Comments

Westwater Mesa Loop

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Well, here it is! Our 65th and final trip report of the year and our very last hike of 2018. When we woke up on Sunday morning I had no plans scheduled for the day but I did know that I wanted to get out hiking at least one last time this year, so I looked at some maps and settled on the Westwater Mesa Loop Trail in the Utah Rims area just west of Rabbit Valley. Since it was pretty cold out this morning Diane and I waited until the the afternoon when it warmed up into the low 30’s to start our short drive to Utah and start hiking. After getting off the interstate at the Westwater exit and then following the Kokopelli Trail for a short distance we parked at the edge of Westwater Mesa and started hiking. This trail is about 7.5 miles in length and pretty much follows the rim of the mesa most of the way with views over Bitter Creek, Westwater Creek and the Colorado River. It was a nice local hike to end the year with. Here’s to a great 2019!

1 Comment