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Moab Winter Weekend 2020

Moab Area Rock Art XXXVI | Saturday & Sunday, December 26-27, 2020

Well, I guess this is it. My final trip report from 2020. After spending all of Christmas Day in Arches National Park we spent the rest of the weekend near the Colorado River south of Moab revisiting some areas I haven’t been to in a long time, plus a few new places, too. We left town early on Saturday morning, drove through Kane Creek Canyon and then headed up to Hurrah Pass so we could watch the sunrise from the top before continuing on to the Chicken Corners Trail.

We arrived at Hurrah Pass about thirty minutes before sunrise and were just in time to watch the magenta alpenglow cover the landscape.

Dawn at Hurrah Pass

Here’s the sign at Hurrah Pass below Hatch Point with Pyramid Butte in the background.

Hurrah Pass Sign

The ridge extending north from Hurrah Pass was looking nice this morning, too.

Hurrah Pass Ridge View

When the sun started to come up over the rim of Kane Creek Canyon we drove back down the road a little ways so we could catch the warm sunlight on the sandstone below the pass.

Hurrah Pass Road

The Anticline Overlook at the edge of Hatch Point was right above us, where I watched another nice sunrise back on Halloween.

Hatch Point

The Golden Hour along Hurrah Pass Road.

Golden Hour Jeep

Rock Above the Road

Morning Sandstone

After taking a bunch of photos we continued over the pass to the Chicken Corners Trail. I haven’t driven this trail since 2008 and didn’t remember it very well, and since I’ve already spent a lot of time in the area this year, it seemed like a good place to revisit.

Chicken Corners Sign

Following the road around the Chicken Corner. In the shadows at the right side of this photo the road is narrow and right next to a big drop-off, but my understating is that this section of the road used to be a lot worse back in the day, and that’s how this section got the name ‘chicken corner.’

The Chicken Corner

From the end of the road there was a good view across the icy Colorado River to Dead Horse Point.

Dead Horse Point

The narrow trail around Pack-Off Corner leads to the Goose Neck, which I have seen from all different angles this year.

Pack-Off Corner

Catching a sunstar during the drive back.

Chicken Corners Sunstar

There were plenty of overlooks along the road with views across Meander Canyon to Chimney Rock.

Meander Canyon & Chimney Rock

We stopped to find a few petroglyphs along the river.

Main Canyon Petroglyphs

Fading Figures

Main Canyon Panel

Since we were driving right by, we also stopped to explore The Catacombs, which are also known as the Moab Wind Caves.

Entering The Catacombs

Darkness Into Light

Darkness Into Light

Sandstone Cave

Sandstone Cave

Exploring The Catacombs

Exploring The Catacombs

Moab Wind Caves

Moab Wind Caves

Great scenery surrounded us as we headed back to Hurrah Pass.

Main Canyon View

When we reached the pass we were stopped by this Hyundai Elantra that couldn’t get over a ledge in the road and was stuck. I walked over to talk to the driver and assumed that the vehicle at least had All Wheel Drive, so I was very surprised to find out it was only Front Wheel Drive and that he had driven it over the pass a few days prior and was now trying to head back out. I was a little shocked to find out that this vehicle was able to drive this road over the pass, although I could tell that it wasn’t without some damage underneath. Anyway, we figured out how to attach the tow point to the front of his Hyundai and I was able to pull it up the ledge that was giving him trouble with my Jeep. We stopped for lunch at the pass and then continued on our way.

Stuck at the Pass

Before heading back to town for the night we went on one more hike which started with an icy hike up Gatherer Canyon.

Gatherer Canyon

Then we followed the rim of Hunter Canyon for a while.

Hunter Canyon Rim Trail

Hunter Canyon Bend

Hunter Canyon Bend

Hunter Canyon Rim

We stopped to revisit this little ruin that we had hiked to a few years ago and then turned around and headed back down.

Round Structure

Diane carefully descending the ledges in Gatherer Canyon on our way back.

Canyon Descent

On Sunday morning we slept in a little later and then headed out for one more shorter hike before we started the drive back home. Today we would be exploring a bench along the Colorado River that we had tried to get to a few years ago, but there was too much snow on the ground that day to safely get there.

Climbing an old cattle trail that was blasted into the wall of the canyon.

Cattle Trail

We spotted a couple of petroglyph panels along the wall we were following, but many of them were faint and hard to see.

Big Wall Designs

Long Sheep

This was probably my favorite petroglyph panel we came across today.

High-Fiving Panel

I liked the swirls in the canyon wall here.

Wall Swirls & Stripes

Although these two Barrier Canyon Style pictographs were pretty faint, they were also really cool.

Faint Barrier Canyon Style Pictographs

Looking down on the icy Colorado River from the edge of the bench.

Icy Colorado River

Following the long wall back to the canyon and trailhead.

Along The Wall

>> Moab Winter Weekend Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. Dianne
    Dianne December 31, 2020

    Last year I saw guy in a new Corvette having a terrible time in Valley of the Gods. Clueless. I stopped
    to help. He decided to turn around and exit. More money than sense.
    I love the high five glyph. Nice trip! Thanks.

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