Saturday, November 14, 2020
Since our planned trip to the Esplanade with Jerry this week had already been cancelled, Diane and I now had a free weekend to get out hiking together again. We decided to stay closer to home and check out some new canyons in the San Rafael Swell. Earlier in the year I had planned for us to hike into upper Eardley Canyon during our Leap Day weekend trip, but the roads were too wet and muddy in the area at the time, so we ended up skipping it and heading home early. I thought that would be a good place to start this weekend, so we left home Saturday morning and made our way through the San Rafael Reef to the end of Cliff Dweller Flat where we started our hike and planned to spend the night afterwards.
From the edge of Cliff Dweller Flat we descended down to the bench below and made our way to the rim of Eardley Canyon.
The wind was bitter cold this morning but the weather forecast said it was supposed to die down in a few hours. We sure hoped the forecast was right, because neither of us had any desire to camp in these conditions.
Descending the steep and loose route into Eardley Canyon.
Once we were in the bottom of the canyon we headed downstream and enjoyed the amazing views along the way!
Upper Eardley Canyon Narrows
The canyon opened up a few times along the way, but most of the time it was narrow with tall walls.
Boulders in an alcove.
This was the darkest part of the canyon we hiked through.
I loved the look of these boulders and the nice reflected light here.
As we hiked down the canyon further there were a number of seeps along the canyon walls.
I couldn’t resist photographing a couple of sunstars along the way.
Diane for scale below these tall canyon walls.
Hiking through the narrows on our way back up the canyon.
Almost back to the climb out of the canyon in the late afternoon.
I had wanted to hike further down the canyon than we actually made it before turning around, but I guess we were moving too slowly because I kept stopping to take too many photos along the way! It was just an amazingly beautiful canyon! That just means we will have to return again in the future when the days are longer!
When we arrived back to my Jeep at the trailhead the wind was still blowing hard and it was still bitterly cold out. We had no desire to camp in these conditions and decided to call it a weekend and headed home early instead.