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The Twists and Turns of Salt Creek Canyon

Canyonlands National Park | Thursday – Monday, April 4-8, 2024

After a rugged hike around Navajo Mountain last year, Dave, Jared and I decided to return to a very familiar place in Canyonlands National Park for our annual spring backpacking trip this year as we started making plans to continue exploring the twists and turns of Salt Creek Canyon a few months ago. Although we have all hiked into Salt Creek many times over the years, I hadn’t been back to the middle section of the canyon since our first hike down the length of the canyon just about ten years ago, and I was looking forward to returning! I left from work on Thursday afternoon and made my way to Indian Creek Country for the evening where I found a campsite and watched a colorful sunset on the surrounding cliffs while waiting for Dave and Jared to arrive.

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Third Flats: Cedar Point Road to Haystack 3 Point

After Work Adventures | Monday, April 1, 2024

When I left work this afternoon, I headed up into the Third Flats section of the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area so I could get in a short hike to a local highpoint before going home. Since I have pretty much completed hiking all of the Kokopelli Trails near Loma now, I figured this area would be a good place to focus my attention to for my next local trails project, especially since it’s close to town and I have not been on any of the trails in this area before, aside from the one time I drove up the Billings Canyon Jeep Trail back in 2006. I decided to start out by hiking up the Cedar Point Road to Haystack 3 Point while also hiking parts of the Quad Rocker, Easy Rider and Canyon View Trails along the way. There was a lot of stormy weather around the Grand Valley this afternoon which made for some dynamic and dramatic conditions along the way. Here are a couple photos from my short afternoon hike.

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The Grandest of Gulches: Back Into Lower Grand Gulch

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 11 | Thursday – Sunday, March 21-24, 2024

This week Diane and I took Thursday and Friday off from work so we could meet up with our friend Jared and spend a couple of days backpacking into lower Grand Gulch within the Bears Ears National Monument. While this would be Diane’s first time hiking into this part of Grand Gulch, Jared and I had hiked here about nine years ago and I was really looking forward to the return visit. From the very start of the hike we could tell there was a lot of water in the canyon from recent storms and that it might have even flash flooded recently, but all that water also created a lot of quicksand and mud in the wash that significantly slowed down our progress and forced us to follow brushy deer trails across the benches in many places. The weather during the first three days of our hike was great and the nights even stayed pretty warm, we only encountered wet weather during our final night in the canyon and during the hike back out of Collins Canyon. Here are some photos taken during our four days in Grand Gulch.

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Trails of the Richardson Amphitheater

Castleton Tower to Professor Valley | Sunday, March 17, 2024

I was originally planning to spend this weekend south of Green River in the Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness, but apparently the weather had other plans for me. While I was at work on Friday I kept a close eye on the forecast and hoped that there might be a change, but by the time I was ready to leave the forecast was still calling for a very wet Saturday across the Colorado Plateau, so I cancelled those plans and headed home instead, hoping that I would be able to get out hiking on Sunday, at the very least. So when Sunday rolled around I left home early headed over to the Richardson Amphitheater to hike a couple of trails since I didn’t feel like driving too far from home. It turned out to be a good decision since there were low-hanging clouds surrounding the valley when I arrived shortly before sunrise. I made my way to the western end of the amphitheater to hike the Sylvester Trail at sunrise and enjoyed taking photos along the way while the spires, buttes and mesas played hide-and-seek in the clouds.

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Moab Meanderings: Moab Area Rock Art XLII

Saturday & Sunday, March 9-10, 2024

This weekend Diane and I stayed close to home and returned to Moab so we could finish what we had started a couple of weeks ago. We left home early on Saturday morning, grabbed a campsite at the Sand Flats Recreation Area and then headed out to spend the rest of the day hiking and searching for rock art. I knew we were probably pushing it trying to camp near Moab at this time of the year, but I was hoping we were still early enough in the season that it wouldn’t be too busy yet. Well, I was wrong and this will most likely be our last trip to the Moab area until next winter. Here are some photos from the weekend.

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