Tagged: san rafael swell

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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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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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Yes, I am aware that the title of this trip report doesn’t make much sense, but that’s OK since I liked the sound of it. Way back in June of 2011 I was hiking with my friend Philippe at the edge of the San Rafael Swell when we discovered a new Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panel that no one seemed to have seen before. When I wrote up the trip report for that day I decided to call it the Unexpected Panel since we were looking for something else and the find was very unexpected. That name seems to have stuck a bit, but I have also seen it referred to as the New Panel. Whatever you want to call it, I have wanted to get back and visit this amazing pictograph panel again, but sadly had not been back since our initial discovery. Diane has also been interested in seeing this panel after seeing my photos of it and I had promised a while ago to take my friend Marty here sometime, so a trip was in the planning for sometime this spring. With the warm temperatures we’ve been having lately I decided to move the trip up and visit it this weekend. We couldn’t have had better weather for this hike. The temperature was in the mid-sixties and there were some nice clouds moving through the sky all day. It sure felt more like March or April than the beginning of February.

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Saturday & Sunday, March 29-30, 2014

I recently realized that I hadn’t been out to the San Rafael Swell in quite some time and felt it was time to get back again. Diane had never been to the Swell before so I thought it would be nice to give her an overview tour of the northern Swell this weekend. She would get to see some new sights and I would get to revisit and rephotograph some sites I have been to in the past. We left Grand Junction early on Saturday morning and made our way west through Green River before passing through the San Rafael Reef and climbing onto the San Rafael Swell.

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