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Thanksgiving Under the Bears Ears

Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 22-25, 2018

This year Diane and I kept our annual tradition of spending the long Thanksgiving weekend searching for ruins and rock art on Cedar Mesa alive. (Not counting that one year we went to New Mexico instead, of course.) Although the mountains of Colorado got a lot of much-needed snow over the holiday weekend, the precipitation mostly missed the Four Corners region and we had very pleasant hiking weather just about every day. The higher elevations of Cedar Mesa and Elk Ridge did receive a little snow on Thursday evening, but it had pretty much all melted off by Friday afternoon. As usual, we found some new sites and revisited some of our favorites, too. It wasn’t planned, but we ended up visiting three different kivas that were all pretty well-preserved and had a great weekend exploring one of my favorite areas in the southwest! Check out all the photos from our Thanksgiving adventure below!

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The Bears Ears II

Southern Utah Wanderings | Cedar Mesa
Tuesday – Thursday, October 3-5, 2017

After spending Monday in the Abajo Mountains and the previous weekend in the northern section of The Bears Ears, it was time to head over to Cedar Mesa so we could spend then next couple of days exploring some new areas of this part of The Bears Ears searching for new ruins and rock art sites. Here are a few photos from the remainder of our trip…

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The Abajo Mountains

Southern Utah Wanderings | Fall Colors 2017
Monday, October 2, 2017

After spending the weekend in the northern section of Bears Ears National Monument and Canyonlands National Park, we moved a little further south into the Abajo Mountains (Blue Mountains) so we could get a little peak-bagging in on our trip. Since I’ve hiked the highest peaks in the La Sal Mountains and Henry Mountains, I thought it would be nice to complete the trifecta by reaching the summit of Abajo Peak (11,360), the highest point in the Abajo Mountains. This one is a little easier than the others though, since there is a good road all the way up to the top because of all the towers and antennas up there. Shortly after sunrise we broke down our camp located at the base of the Abajo Mountains and drove up the road to the summit. There were some nice views along the way.

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Bears Ears National Monument

President’s Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, February 18-20, 2017

This holiday weekend was supposed to be our first camping trip of the year, but the wet weather forecast made me rethink those plans at the last minute. Throughout the prior week and up until Friday the forecast was calling for 90-100% chance of rain and snow on Cedar Mesa and the surrounding area for Saturday and Sunday. I was about to cancel the trip altogether and stay home, but I decided to check hotel rates in Blanding on Friday afternoon and found a King Suite at the Rodeway Inn for $36 a night. At that price I couldn’t pass it up and figured that even if the weather didn’t cooperate with us, at least we’d have a nice getaway for the long weekend that wouldn’t cost very much. I am glad we still went because we had an awesome time and the weather really didn’t interfere too much.

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Sand Canyon to Cedar Mesa

Monday, October 3, 2016

Even though the weather forecast had predicted a 100% chance of rain for my current location overnight, there were only a few sprinkles that didn’t even manage to get anything wet. I didn’t have any plans for photographing the sunrise this morning, so I woke up when it started to get light out and headed into Cortez for a quick breakfast on my way to the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. I have long wanted to hike up Sand Canyon to checkout the ruins there and figured it was finally time to do so before I continued my journey into Utah.

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