Tagged: san rafael desert

Maze Memorial Weekend IV | Memorial Day Weekend
Friday – Monday, May 26-29, 2017

A beautiful sunset from the summit of Observation Rock along the edge of The Orange Cliffs.

After spending the last three Memorial Day Weekends in and around The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park, this year we decided to skip visiting The Maze proper and stayed on top of The Orange Cliffs in Robber’s Roost country. As usual, we left home after work on Friday evening and headed west into Utah. We stopped for a quick dinner and to fuel up the Jeep in Green River and then made our way to the Hans Flat Ranger Station to pickup our permit for the weekend. The wind was pretty brutal this evening and it really took a toll on my fuel mileage during the drive. There was a lot of sand blowing across the road to Hans Flat in places, but the sky and light was pretty nice during the drive. It looked like there was a good chance for one nice sunset before the clouds disappeared for the remainder of the weekend.

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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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