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Mount Garfield Attempt

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It’s been a few years since I’ve hiked to the summit of Mount Garfield in the Little Book Cliffs, so I thought it would be a good idea to head up there after work today and revisit for sunset. Unfortunately, as I reached the second bench before the final climb to the top, a big storm came across the valley and I decided it was time to head back down. Not only was there a lot of lightning, I was also concerned about hiking back down the steep clay if it got wet since that stuff can get really slippery. It was a good decision because once I reached my Jeep at the trailhead the sky let loose and the rain came down hard. In the end I hiked about two miles round trip and climbed about 1,200 feet, which isn’t a bad workout. I’ll have to try again soon. Here are a few photos from the short hike.

The initial steep climb up the dry clay. I certainly wouldn’t want to hike up or down this section when it’s wet!

Initial Climb

Nice light on the Grand Mesa across the valley.

Grand Mesa

Nearing the first bench after the initial steep climb and looking back over Palisade.


Darker clouds moved in as I made it to the second bench.

Second Bench

Light rays breaking through the storm clouds next to Mount Garfield. I turned around shortly after taking this photo.

Sun Ray

On my way back down I ran into about half a dozen wild horses near the trail on the first bench. Even though I was in a hurry to get back down to my Jeep, I had to stop for a couple of photos.


Looking back at the trail I descended to the first bench with dark clouds above.

First Bench

Wild horses with the storm in the distance moving closer.

Wild Horses and a Storm

Wild horses below Mount Garfield.

Wild Horses below Mount Garfield

Rain over the Grand Valley.

Incoming Storm

Dark clouds over clay hills.

Clay Hills

>> Mount Garfield Attempt Photo Gallery


  1. Tom McCoppin
    Tom McCoppin July 25, 2015

    Thank you for taking time to post….very enjoyable!

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat July 27, 2015

      Thanks Tom!

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