Tagged: san rafael desert

Saturday & Sunday, February 11-12, 2017

The always amazing Rochester Rock Art Panel in the San Rafael Swell.

Since Saturday was my birthday, we decided to spend the weekend in the San Rafael Swell based out of Green River to celebrate. We ended up visiting a bunch of rock art sites that I hadn’t been to in a while and that Diane had never been to (much like our day trip to Moab a few weeks ago), but we also found a couple of new sites. I had hoped to visit more new sites on this trip, but the roads in those areas were still pretty muddy, so we stuck to the drier areas of the Swell along the San Rafael Reef. Of course, I made sure to have a birthday burger from Ray’s on Saturday evening! Here are plenty of photos from the weekend…

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Monday, January 2, 2017

The Champagne Geyser erupts at the old Chaffin Ranch near the San Rafael River.

Since I stayed close to home the past two days, I decided that wanted to venture over the state line into Utah today, but I still didn’t want to travel too far. It’s a pretty short and easy drive from Grand Junction to Green River, so I thought I’d head south from there on the Green River Road to revisit some sites I haven’t been to in many years and also try to stop at a few new ones. I contacted Marty on Saturday evening to see if he was free, and then we made plans to meet in Green River at 7:30 this morning. As I was getting close to Green River on I-70 I could see that the Gunnison Valley was filled with a thick fog and I thought that this might make things interesting for us. After meeting up with Marty and topping off my fuel tank we headed south into the fog on the Green River Road.

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The Doll House | Memorial Day Weekend
Thursday – Monday, May 26-30, 2016

A beautiful sunset over The Doll House in Canyonlands National Park.

While crowds of people were lined up to get into Arches National Park and Island in the Sky this holiday weekend, Diane and I were back in The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park where we would only see a couple other people the entire time. This is why Diane and I have kept coming back back here for the past three years over Memorial Day weekend. Make sure to check out our previous trip reports from 2014 and 2015. This year we invited our friends Marty and Dave along to spend a few days down in The Doll House and the Land of Standing Rocks. It has been a few years since I last visited this area and I was looking forward to getting back and actually spending a few nights in The Doll House.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

A scenic location inside Little Wild Horse Canyon within the San Rafael Reef.

Years ago I tried hiking into Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon, which are slot canyons that cut through the San Rafael Reef near Goblin Valley State Park, but I was chased away by thunderstorms that day and have never returned to try again. Since that time the popularity of these slot canyons have exploded, which is part of the reason I had never bothered to return. I finally decided that it was time to head back this weekend to hike these San Rafael Swell classics. I was hoping that we wouldn’t run into the large crowds that these canyons attract since it’s the middle of winter, and we didn’t. We would only pass one single hiker during our entire hike and that happened on the old road used to connect the two canyons together to form a loop.

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tafoni lines the canyon walls and a sunburst peeks out between two rocks in Crack Canyon.

On Saturday morning Diane and I left home early and drove west into Utah to go hiking in the desert. Our destination was Crack Canyon in the San Rafael Reef which is not too far away from the much more popular Little Wild Horse Canyon and Goblin Valley State Park. After getting off the highway and following Temple Mountain Road through the reef, we took the Behind the Reef Road to Crack Canyon and drove down the wash to the Wilderness Study Area boundary. We parked here and started hiking down the canyon. It was a beautiful canyon with interesting tafoni everywhere and a few short sections of narrows. There was nice reflected light bouncing off the canyon walls so I took my time taking plenty of photos along the way. We hiked through the reef until we reached the intersection with the Chute Canyon Trail where we turned around and returned the way we had come. We didn’t see anyone else all afternoon until we were on our way back to the trailhead, and even then we only ran into a family of four and another solo hiker. The high temperature was probably in the low 50’s and it turned out to be a great day for hiking in the canyon!

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