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Social Distancing: Rabbit Valley Ridge

Sunday, March 22, 2020

This weekend we were originally supposed to go to a concert in Salt Lake City, but that obviously didn’t happen because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Then I figured that I would be able to spend the weekend in the San Rafael Swell or Robbers Roost areas to socially distance myself and get in some hiking and exploring, but then the Southeast Utah Health Department cancelled those plans for me. No big deal I thought, I’ll just stay closer to home and hike some canyons near the state line. Well, then the weather intervened with snow and rain making the roads and ground wet and muddy in the area that I wanted to hike in. I actually still drove out there on Saturday morning hoping for the best, but decided it wasn’t worth it when I arrived and headed home instead.

After decided to skip my hike on Saturday morning, I did stop and take this one photo over No Thoroughfare Canyon on my drive back home, so I thought I would at least share it here.

Upper No Thoroughfare Canyon

I almost ended up just staying at home all weekend, but on Sunday afternoon I decided to take a drive over to Rabbit Valley so I could at least get one shorter hike in. When I arrived there were more people here than I think I’ve ever seen before! ATVs, UTVs and motorcycles were buzzing around all over, and groups of people seemed to be camped everywhere, even though they are only supposed to camp in designated sites in this area. Luckily, the hike I planned didn’t follow a trail or start at a designated trailhead, so I found a place to park away from all the other people and started climbing what I’ve called Rabbit Valley Ridge. I actually hiked this ridge once before a few years ago, but this time I climbed up onto the ridge via a different route. As I started hiking there were dark clouds moving quickly across the sky and it appeared to be storming over the Book Cliffs. And although it was a little windy out, it only rained lightly for a few minutes once I first reached the top of the ridge. It was pretty humid out from the recent rain and the bugs seemed to be out, too. Here are a few photos from my afternoon in Rabbit Valley…

The fast-moving clouds in the sky created nice spotlighting as I started my climb to the top of Rabbit Valley Ridge.

Spotlight Under Clouds

Following the narrow sandstone across the top of the ridge.

Narrow Sandstone

Near the far end of the ridge there were nice views into Ruby Canyon. Hopefully I’ll still be able to go on a couple river trips this year…

Ruby Canyon

The dappled light on Rabbits Ear Mesa athe the end of the valley was nice.

Rabbits Ear Mesa

Another view of the Colorado River below with great light on the cliffs above.

Colorado River

There was fresh snow on the Book Cliffs and Corcoran Peak on the horizon.

Light on Cliffs

Following along the edge of the ridge

At The Edge

Spotlight on the narrowest part of the ridge as I hiked back toward it.

Land Bridge

It looks like it was raining or snowing over the Book Cliffs on the other side of the valley. To the left you can see the Jouflas Horse Trail below.

Storm Over Sandstone

Following along the top of the ridge on my way back.

Top of the Ridge

The light and clouds were really nice this afternoon and constantly changing.

Light On the Landscape

Light & Rain

Looking back along the ridge I had just hiked across.

Along The Ridge

Rabbit Valley Ridge

Rabbit Valley Ridge

Here’s one last look back to the ridge as I returned to my Jeep.

Distant Ridge

>> Rabbit Valley Ridge Photo Gallery

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