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Lower Waring Canyon & Pole Canyon

Sunday, December 20, 2020

I was originally planning to spend this whole weekend out and about around the San Rafael Swell, but when I woke up early on Saturday morning to leave I wasn’t feeling very well (non-COVID symptoms) and decided to stay home for the day instead. Since I was feeling much better in the afternoon and at least wanted to try to get some local hiking in this weekend, I decided to head over to the Dewey Bridge on Sunday morning so I could explore a pair of canyons in the area. It was pretty cold out early on Sunday morning when I left home before sunrise, but was supposed to warm up into the 40’s in the afternoon. I started out the day by hiking a few miles into Waring Canyon from the Entrada Bluffs Road and then I took a short drive down to the Dolores River before hiking up Pole Canyon from the River Road along the Colorado River.

Starting my hike up lower Waring Canyon.

Lower Waring Canyon

Much of the hike was pretty easy in the wash bottom, but there were a few spots where I had to bushwhack along the canyon wall to get through.

Light On the Rim

Canyon Exploring

There was a thin layer of snow in the shaded parts of the canyon with water flowing under the ice.

Canyon Snow

Waring Canyon

Along The Wall

Parts of this canyon reminded me of the Ribbon Canyon Narrows.

Icy Chute

Narrow Ice

A closer look at some ice.


On my way back to the Jeep I stopped to check out the remains of an old bridge that crossed the lower end of Waring Canyon.

Waring Canyon Bridge

There’s not much of the bridge left…

Old Bridge

Before driving over to the mouth of Pole Canyon I drove down to Roberts Bottom along the Dolores River since I hadn’t been there in a long time.

Roberts Mesa Point

Roberts Mesa Point

Pole Canyon was a nice canyon to hike through, even if it turned out to be a short hike.

Pole Canyon Hike

Pole Canyon

I hiked up both little forks of the canyon because I was hoping to be able to make a loop around the base of the Mule Shoe Rincon, but I didn’t find a way out of the canyon in either fork.

Pole Canyon Split

Little Ice Stalagmites

Little Ice Stalagmites

Sandstone & Snow

Sandstone & Snow

Since I couldn’t make a loop around the Mule Shoe, I found a different place where I could hike up onto the top of the mesa.

Colorado River Canyon

Exploring the mesa top.

Mesa Hiking

Hiking back down so I could return to my Jeep and then head back home.

Hiking Back Down

>> Waring Canyon & Pole Canyon Photo Gallery

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