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The Labyrinth Rims: Hey Joe Canyon & Wheeler Trail

Friday – Sunday, December 17-19, 2021

After spending last weekend along the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, I wanted to get out and explore more of the Labyrinth Rims before the year was up, so that’s where I headed this weekend. As usual, I left after work on Friday afternoon, grabbed a quick dinner and then made my way out to Spring Canyon Point. I found a nice campsite at the edge of Labyrinth Canyon with just enough time left to photograph sunset.

The late afternoon views were looking nice as I drove across Tenmile Country on my way to Spring Canyon Point.

Book Cliffs View

Tenmile Country

Desert Evening

My home for the night on Spring Canyon Point just before sunset.

Spring Canyon Point Evening

Warm light on the rim of Labyrinth Canyon.

Rim Light

The Cold Moon was coming up when I arrived at camp, so it was a perfect opportunity to test out the new long lens I recently bought.

Cold Moon

Labyrinth Canyon Rim and the Belt of Venus

Labyrinth Canyon Rim

I was camped right across from the Bowknot Bend Saddle this evening. This is the third viewpoint of the saddle I have seen in the past two months, starting with my hike out from Keg Point in October and then my visit to Deadman Point in November. In my opinion, this was probably the best view!

Bowknot Bend Saddle at Dusk

One thing I noticed as I was taking photos from the edge this evening is that there was absolutely no wind or even a gentle breeze. It was perfectly calm and silent- a great and peaceful way to end the day! Once the light was gone I did a little reading and then went to bed early.

I was up before sunrise on Saturday morning to take a couple more photos from the edge.

Spring Canyon Point Morning

Labyrinth Canyon Morning

Labyrinth Canyon Morning

I drove the rest of the way to the end of Spring Canyon Point as the sun came up.

Spring Canyon Point Road

Spring Canyon Point Sunrise

Spring Canyon Point Sunrise

Point Light

Before starting my main hike for the day, I went out in search of Cliffhanger Arch along the rim of Labyrinth Canyon.

Rim Alcove

Cliffhanger Arch

Cliffhanger Arch

It was much larger than I was expecting, but also hard to get a good photo of at this time of the day.

Above Cliffhanger Arch

Next up was a hike into a canyon I’ve been trying to get to for almost 15 years now- Hey Joe Canyon. It seems that every time I try, something prevents me from getting there. I haven’t been able to drive there on multiple occasions and I wasn’t able to get there from the river yet, so this time I decided to try hiking in on a route that some people use as a bike portage.

I didn’t find much information about the hike into the canyon, but it turned out to be pretty easy and straightforward to follow. I think it took me less than 30 minutes from my Jeep to the bottom of the canyon, and that was taking my time.

Following The Ledge

Once in Hey Joe Canyon there were a lot of mining relics to check out…

Hey Joe Truck

Truck Cab Interior

Hey Joe Truck Back

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Caterpillar II

At the mouth of Hey Joe Canyon.

Hey Joe Canyon

Hey Joe Mine Caterpillar

Hey Joe Mine Caterpillar

That’s a big winch!

Big Winch

At The Controls

At The Controls

After checking out the old mining relics, I hiked to the upper end of Hey Joe Canyon and then hiked out of the canyon the way I had come down.

Upper Hey Joe Canyon

Hey Joe Canyon Exploring

Hey Joe Canyon Exploring

Ghoul Wall

Ghoul Wall

Wave Wall

Wave Wall

Wave Alcove Designs

Wave Alcove Designs

When I was back to my Jeep I did a little exploring on some nearby side roads and ended up at a nice overlook of Tenmile Canyon.

Tenmile Canyon Overlook

Then I drove around Tenmile Canyon via Dripping Spring as I made my way over to Tenmile Point. I stopped along the way to hike to Red Wash Window.

Red Wash Window View

Red Wash Window

Red Wash Window

I did a little more wandering around Red Wash before returning to my Jeep.

Red Wash Wandering

I finished the drive out to the end of Tenmile Point and found a place to spend the night with another view of Labyrinth Canyon.

Labyrinth Canyon View

Tenmile Point Evening

Tenmile Point Evening

I caught the rising moon coming up over the ridge just after sunset.

Rising Moon

On Sunday morning I woke up before sunrise to hike down the Wheeler Trail in search of some petroglyphs along the river.

Morning Trailhead

Tenmile Point Morning

Tenmile Point Morning

It looks like these stacked rocks were a constructed part of the trail from the top.

Stacked Rocks

I had a little trouble finding the ramp down to the river since I was looking in the wrong place, but eventually I made it down and found the petroglyphs I was looking for.

I arrived just in time to watch the sun light up the panel. While I watched the light creep down the panel I could hear ice crashing on the river behind me.

Sunlight Petroglyphs

Morning Light Petroglyphs

Morning Light Petroglyphs

Outline Guy

Outline Guy

Right Side Petroglyphs

Right Side Petroglyphs

I spotted this faded figure as I started to climb back up the Wheeler Trail.

Faded Figure

The Wheeler Trail

Wheeler Trail

A view from the top of the constructed ramp on the trail.

Wheeler Trail View

I had to be home early today, so once I returned to my Jeep I started heading back to the highway, but I took one short detour along the way to visit some structures at Dee Pass.

Stone Doorway

Stone Doorway

Corner Shelf

Corner Shelf

Crooked

Crooked

>> Hey Joe Canyon & Wheeler Trail Photo Gallery

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