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The Sandstone Bowl

Saturday, March 1, 2014

When Diane and I woke up Saturday morning we had no plans for the day. We wanted to do something outsite but the weather was calling for rain all day. In the end we decided to ignore the weather reports since it looked nice outside and took a last minute trip just over the stateline into Utah so I could check on a geocache that I had placed a few years back. It’s in a remote area that sees little traffic so very few people have actually found it. It had been a while since I had been out that way and I was looking forward to hiking around the area. After getting off the pavement onto the Yellow Cat Road we ran into some pretty muddy conditions that slowed down driving, but nothing too bad. After leaving the Yellow Cat Road we pretty much drove on sandy roads the rest of the day and didn’t have to deal with any more slippery mud. Although, a lot of the two-track roads we drove were filled with tumbleweeds, so we had to deal with those instead. It appears that we were the first vehicle on some of these roads this season. Even though there were storms all around us for most of the day we managed to miss most of the rain. It was a bit windy out all day, but the scattered clouds made for some excellent photography conditions with the changing light and shadows. My favorite kind of day!

After checking on my geocache, we entered the backcountry of Arches National Park and started hiking and exploring this area more thoroughly than I have done before. There are a lot of great views from the rim of this small canyon that I refer to as The Sandstone Bowl, especially with the weather conditions we had today.

Even though it was very windy out, the beautiful and constantly changing sky made up for it!

Beautiful Sky by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane exploring the sandstone in the wind.

Exploring by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Lines in the sandstone from the recent rain.

Wet Lines by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We came across a few large water-filled potholes.

Pool by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A sliver of light illuminates the sandstone bowl below.

Bowl of Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

An amazing view over this small side canyon. We waited for a little while at this spot until the light was just right.

Alcove View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Light and shadows…

Sandstone Fingers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the large alcove across the canyon. The light on the Book Cliffs in the background was pretty nice all day.

Big Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Fins Below by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking back up the short canyon towards the sandstone bowl.

Canyon Rim by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Fingers protrude from The Sandstone Bowl.

Sandstone Bowl by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After exploring this seldom visited area of Arches National Park we hiked back to the Jeep and made our way over to La Boca Arch. I’ve been here a few times before but never with a nice cloud-filled sky like we had today.

La Boca Arch

La Boca Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice light on the domes of sandstone behind the arch. Look closely and you might be able to spot a raven sitting on top.

Sandstone Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking up through La Boca Arch.

La Boca View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We left La Boca Arch and then made our way across Dome Plateau, past Cave Spring, and eventually met up with the Kokopelli Trail.

It’s calving season…we saw quite a few calves along the way.

Calving Season by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Feeding Time by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A great sky above as we drove across the sandy two-tracks of the Dome Plateau.

Dome Plateau by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Dome Plateau Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice view over Yellow Jacket Canyon. I need to come back and hike this canyon one of these days…

Yellow Jacket Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A storm off in the distance as we drive towards some domes of sandstone.

Storm Ahead by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Stormy Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Amazing light on the sandstone.

Great Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We stopped to visit some very nice dinosaur tracks.

Dinosaur Track by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I found this great view of the Fisher Towers and La Sal Mountains while we were exploring, so we waited around for the light to get good.

Fisher Tower Layers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I’d say it was worth the wait!

Grand View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Rain all around us…

Rain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Rain lit up by the late afternoon light as we made our way back to the pavement.

Light Rain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This small rainbow showed up briefly in the distance.

Mini Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As we got closer to Cisco on the old highway we were treated to an amazing sunset.

Old US 6 by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A rainbow even showed up! It was a great way to end the day.

Wow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> The Sandstone Bowl Photo Gallery


  1. Amanda
    Amanda March 5, 2014

    I love all of your work, but the Fisher Towers layers photos are down right breath taking. Amazing work!

  2. Randy Langstraat
    Randy Langstraat March 6, 2014

    Thanks Amanda!

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