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Tag: san rafael desert

Spine of The Swell: San Rafael Reef Wilderness

Uneva Canyon & Three Fingers Canyon Loop
Saturday, January 11, 2020

For the past couple of years it seems like I always end up hiking on the San Rafael Reef at the beginning of the year in early to mid-January, so I guess this year is not going to be an exception! Maybe it’s because it’s an easy drive from home on I-70 and makes for a good day trip when there is snow on the ground in the desert. Anyway, this weekend Diane was supposed to go snowshoeing with a couple of her friends on the Grand Mesa so I planned to take it easy and go on a day trip to the San Rafael Reef on Saturday by myself. Although I have visited the petroglyphs at the mouth of Three Fingers Canyon a few times before, I had not really done much else in the area, so I decided to hike a loop combining Uneva Canyon and Three Fingers Canyon that would take me along the front and the back of the Reef in this area. Just like with the Muddy Creek Wilderness, this area also became an official Wilderness Area last year with the signing of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act.

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First Yurt Experience: Goblin Valley State Park

Snow in the Valley of the Goblins
Friday – Sunday, December 27-29, 2019

Well, here it is, my last trip report of the year and of the decade! After spending one night in a fire lookout tower over the summer I thought it might be nice to try planning a trip to a yurt since neither of us had stayed in a yurt before. So back in August I booked a yurt at Goblin Valley State Park for the last weekend of the year between Christmas and New Years. While I have visited Goblin Valley a couple of times over the years, Diane has never been there before and was interested in checking it out. Even when I had visited Goblin Valley in the past I never really spent much time there, so I thought it might be nice to spend a full weekend in the park.

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Roaming on The Reef: Hurst Bridge

Backcountry Fest 2019 | Friday – Saturday, April 5-6, 2019

I was originally supposed to spend this entire weekend with Diane in the San Rafael Swell at the very first Backcountry Fest, but then Underoath announced a concert in Grand Junction on Saturday night that we wanted to go to which kind of messed up our plans. Instead of cancelling the weekend trip completely, I decided that I would still head down on Friday evening to meet up and hang out with the group at a campsite near Temple Mountain, and then I would go for a shorter hike by myself on Saturday morning before heading back home to attend the concert later in the evening. Thankfully this event wasn’t too far from home!

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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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Chute Canyon

The Edge of The Swell II
Sunday, January 14, 2018

After spending Saturday exploring northern canyons of the San Rafael Reef, we headed further south on Sunday morning near Temple Mountain and Goblin Valley to hike another canyon that cuts through the Reef. A few years back Diane and I had hiked Crack Canyon and really enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a good day to come back and hike it’s neighbor, Chute Canyon. Typically, these two canyons are linked together to make a nice long loop, but I’m actually glad we hiked them separately so we could spend plenty of time exploring each of them on their own.

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