Friday & Saturday, January 21-22, 2022
After spending last weekend Around The Needles, I decided to head over to the other side of the Green River this weekend to finally explore Bluejohn Canyon, which is a slot canyon I’ve wanted to get into for years. I actually had plans to hike into Bluejohn Canyon twice last year, but the first time I got snowed out and then the second time there were just too many people camped around the trailheads, so I never made it. I figured my best time to get the canyon to myself would be in the middle of the winter, so this weekend seemed like a good opportunity to try. Of course, when it started snowing in Grand Junction on Friday morning I was a little concerned that my plans were going to be thwarted again, but after keeping an eye on the weather all day it looked like much of the snow had most likely missed the Robbers Roost area, so I decided to still give it a go.
I left after work, topped off my gas tank in Green River and then made my way to Burr Pass along the Hans Flat Road. Thankfully most of the drive had been snow free shortly after entering Utah and the Hans Flat Road was surprisingly dry, but a few miles before reaching the trailhead I started to encounter snow on the ground, but I didn’t think there was enough to change my plans. I found a place to camp near Burr Pass, listened to a couple podcasts and then went to bed early.
I woke up with the sunrise on Saturday morning and started hiking cross-country until I was able to drop into Bluejohn Canyon. Thankfully there was not much snow on the descent route and I was able to carefully hike down into the canyon. Once I was in the bottom of the canyon I started hiking up the Main Fork as the canyon narrowed until I was unable to go any further. Then I turned around and came back out the same way. Although I figured the light wouldn’t be great in the slot canyon at this time of the year, the snow on the ground made this an interesting and beautiful experience, so I took a lot of photos as I hiked through the frosted canyon!
There were a couple spots with a nice glow during my hike back out.
On my way back I took the short detour up Little Bluejohn Canyon which was also a nice little slot.
I hiked a little further down Bluejohn Canyon after it started opening up more.
After climbing back out of the canyon and returning to my Jeep at the trailhead, I ate a late lunch and then headed off into another canyon to search for some rock art before sunset.
This herd of wild burros did not seem happy with my presence in their secluded canyon.
First I came across this small red outline Barrier Canyon Style pictograph.
From a distance I thought these were just sharpening grooves, but once I got closer it looked more like a hand?
My last stop of the day was at these two life-sized abraded Barrier Canyon Style petroglyphs. They are hard to see, but very interesting!
Here’s a closer look at the larger one on the left.