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Tag: west clark bench

Sandstone & Sand Hills: The Paria Plateau

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Thursday – Sunday, January 24-27

It’s been almost a full year since the last time I was out exploring and photographing the wonderful sandstone of the Paria Plateau and I was really itching to get back out there again soon. A few months ago I secured a permit to Coyote Buttes South for this Friday and then planned to spend the rest of the weekend exploring other areas of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument outside of the Coyote Buttes permit zones. Unfortunately, after I had already picked the weekend and got the permit I found out that the annual Ouray Ice Festival was scheduled for this same weekend, so I guess I was going to miss it this year. Diane was supposed to be in Las Vegas with a friend this weekend, which is why I originally chose it, but when her plans fell through there were no longer any permits available so I would be on my own this trip.

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Easter Weekend Around the Paria Plateau

Easter Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2016

After spending Friday wandering around Coyote Buttes North, I returned to my camp near the Utah-Arizona state line in Coyote Valley to spend another night there. I slept in a little later on Saturday morning and didn’t crawl out of my tent until the sun came up. I would be spending the rest of the weekend circumnavigating the Paria Plateau and exploring some new areas along the way. After packing up camp, I returned north to the Buckskin Gulch Trailhead and hiked down the wash to explore the edge of the West Clark Bench (The Dive). Diane and I had explored part of this area on a hike from Wire Pass at the end of 2014 and I wanted to check out some more of the area this morning.

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Coyote Buttes North 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

Earlier this year I realized that it had been a while since the last time I visited Coyote Buttes North, so I tried to get another permit for this spring and managed to obtain one for today. Little did I know at the time that I would be buying a new Jeep the weekend before this trip and it would make for a nice first road trip in the new vehicle. Besides getting to spend the long weekend thoroughly testing out my new Jeep on the highway and offroad, I would spend much of the day revisiting my favorite places in Coyote Buttes North, plus I’d spend some time exploring a few of the areas I had not been to before. By the end of the day I had hiked about 15 miles total and enjoyed every second of it!

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Cobra Arch

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

After taking a long loop hike through Coyote Buttes North on Monday we decided to try and make today an easier day. I had never been to Cobra Arch before and thought it might make for a nice easy hike to an interesting arch. We made it to the Middle Trail trailhead on the West Clark Bench shortly after sunrise and were soon descending The Dive on our cross-country hike to Cobra Arch.

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Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch

Sunday, December 28, 2014

On Sunday morning we drove over to the Wire Pass trailhead from our hotel in Page and arrived shortly after the sunrise. Our plan for today was to hike through Wire Pass and then down Buckskin Gulch for a few miles. Unfortunately, we would not be unable to go down Buckskin Gulch from the confluence with Wire Pass because of some large pools of water blocking our way, and we weren’t prepared to get wet on this cold December day. I had hoped that any water in the canyon might be frozen so we could walk right over it, but that was not the case. Instead, we turned around and hiked up Buckskin Gulch until we exited the narrows. When the canyon opened up I noticed a playground of sandstone above the wash and below the West Clark Bench, so we climbed up into that area and explored the colors and shapes of the sandstone for a while. We made a big loop and ended up back down in Buckskin Gulch again. As we hiked back down towards Wire Pass, the light in the canyon was much nicer than on our way up, and I stopped to take many photos along the way.

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