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Tag: westwater

Westwater Mesa Loop

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Well, here it is! Our 65th and final trip report of the year and our very last hike of 2018. When we woke up on Sunday morning I had no plans scheduled for the day but I did know that I wanted to get out hiking at least one last time this year, so I looked at some maps and settled on the Westwater Mesa Loop Trail in the Utah Rims area just west of Rabbit Valley. Since it was pretty cold out this morning Diane and I waited until the the afternoon when it warmed up into the low 30’s to start our short drive to Utah and start hiking. After getting off the interstate at the Westwater exit and then following the Kokopelli Trail for a short distance we parked at the edge of Westwater Mesa and started hiking. This trail is about 7.5 miles in length and pretty much follows the rim of the mesa most of the way with views over Bitter Creek, Westwater Creek and the Colorado River. It was a nice local hike to end the year with. Here’s to a great 2019!

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Ruby – Horsethief

Friday – Sunday, August 19-21, 2016

After spending a few days on the San Juan River for the past few years it was beginning to look like I wouldn’t be getting on the river at all this year after some possible plans had fallen through. I really wanted to get at least one river trip in this year, so a couple of month ago Jackson and I planned a weekend trip with our friend Chris on the Colorado River through Ruby and Horsethief Canyons since it’s a great float and very close to home.

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Little Hole

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Late this afternoon, Diane and I drove west into Utah so that we could search for some petroglyphs that are located somewhere in Little Hole, which is a short side canyon along the Colorado River in Westwater Canyon. We took the Westwater exit off of I-70 and drove south towards the boat ramp, but turned off to follow the Kokopelli Trail after crossing under the railroad tracks. After a few miles of the Kokopelli, we reached the intersection that would take us to the rim of Little Hole. While I had seen these roads in Google Earth while quickly planning this hike, I never did check to see if they were still open to travel and just hoped for the best. Luckily, most of the roads I planned to take were still open. About a half-mile from the rim of the canyon there was a fence across the old road that marked the beginning of the Westwater Wilderness Study Area. We would be hiking from here.

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Ruby – Horsethief in a Day

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I’ve always wanted to try running the Ruby – Horsethief section of the Colorado River between Loma and Westwater in a day. With the Colorado River running over 35,000cfs this weekend, Jackson and I thought it would be a good time to try it. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t as fun of a day trip as we had hoped. We learned a valuable lesson today; for us, this stretch of river is more enjoyable in an inflatable kayak as an overnight trip at lower water levels than as a day trip in fast water. While we didn’t have any issues on the river, it was a little tricky getting through Black Rocks at these water levels with the strange hydraulics and whirlpools. The water level was just too high on the banks making it difficult to stop anywhere and there was a lot of debris floating by the whole time. The current was too strong to get across river quickly and stop in time in the inflatable kayak, plus many of the nice campsites on this stretch of the river were under water. It was hot enough out that it would have been nice to jump out of the boat for a swim, but that was just too dangerous at these flows. I highly doubt I will be doing this section in my inflatable kayak at these water levels again. I am looking forward to a nice weekend float in lower water, though. Here’s a few snapshots from our day on the river.

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Ruby – Horsethief Canyons

Friday – Sunday, August 24-26, 2012

After work on Friday I met Jackson at the Westwater exit on I-70, after the slower than usual drive through two construction zones, so that we could drop his car off at the Westwater takeout along the Colorado River. Our plan this weekend was to float through the Ruby – Horsethief Canyons section of the Colorado River from Loma to Westwater. This was going to be my very first overnight river trip and I had been looking forward to it for a while. Thanks to all my new backpacking gear bought earlier this year, packing the inflatable kayak was much easier, even though I decided to bring along a bigger tent this trip. This section of the Colorado is about 25 miles in length and is pretty mild, but it flows through some beautiful sandstone canyons. Once Jackson’s car was parked in the Westwater parking lot we took my Jeep back to the Loma boat ramp and got our inflatable kayaks ready for the trip. As I suspected, we had the launch site to ourselves on a Friday evening at about 5:30pm.

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