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Tag: paradox valley

Getting Lost in the West End

Silveys Pocket to the Dolores River, Petroglyphs in Paradox & La Sal Creek
Friday – Sunday, April 3-5, 2020

With all of southern Utah essentially shut down to non-locals right now, this weekend I tried to pick one of the more remote areas in western Colorado that wasn’t too far from home to go explore. Ever since I floated through Slick Rock Canyon on the Dolores River last year I have wanted to get back to hike some of the side canyons that we were unable to visit on that trip, so I thought the Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area would be the perfect place to go. I left right from work on Friday and was completely self-contained in my Jeep with food and fuel for the entire weekend so I wouldn’t have to make any stops along the way. I followed the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic Byway to Naturita and then headed over to Big Gypsum Valley where I crossed the bridge over the Dolores River beyond the boat ramp and found a place to camp along the rim of Silveys Pocket.

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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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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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Along the Dolores

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It was one of those days that I just needed to get out hiking and exploring by myself, so that’s what I set out to do. Last year around Christmas I had planned to hike along the Dolores River near Bedrock but got a severe headache on the drive there and had to turn around and head back home. I hadn’t made it back that way yet, so I thought it would be a good time to try again. After leaving home and driving through Unaweep Canyon to Gateway, I then followed the Dolores River to Paradox Valley and turned off at the dead-end road by the Bedrock store to the boat ramp. One day soon I want to float the Dolores River from the Big Gypsum Valley to Bedrock and wanted to check out the takeout. After leaving the boat ramp the road I was on got a bit rougher, but I managed to drive a little ways further until I reached and area that was completely washed out. I parked my Jeep there and continued along the river on foot. The hike was easy and for the most part since it followed an old road that hadn’t been driveable in quite some time. After a few miles I reached a few boulders with petroglyphs on them that I had hoped to find.

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Searching for Paradox

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another 12 hour day in the books. This time with Amanda. I figured that since I have now driven the Kokopelli and the Tabeguache, I would just finish off the Grand Loop and find a 4×4 route of the Paradox Trail. We got an early start this morning and headed towards Gateway, CO where I topped off my tank before heading up John Brown Canyon and the Gateway-Castleton Road to the start of the Paradox Trail.

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