Friday – Monday, January 14-17, 2022
Well here it is, my first Trip Report of 2022! This wasn’t originally supposed to be my first trip of 2022, but we ended up cancelling our plans over New Years Day weekend because of the weather and then I decided to take last weekend off, too. So now it’s time to get back at it again, and what better way to start off the year then by spending a three-day weekend exploring one of my absolute favorite places on the Colorado Plateau– The Needles! As usual, I left after work on Friday afternoon and made my way down to The Needles and found a place to camp along the Lockhart Basin Road. Then I spent the rest of the weekend exploring the Land In Between the more popular trails in the park to see what I could find along the way and ended up hiking over 36 miles. It felt good to put in some higher miles this weekend since I’ve been taking it easier after my incident in November. The weather was perfect for hiking and camping with lows in the 20’s overnight and highs in the 40’s during the day. Enjoy some photos from my backcountry hiking this weekend!
Bates Wilson served as superintendent of Arches and Natural Bridges National Monument from 1949 to 1972. He could most often be found outside. Driving between the two parks – drawn to the vast “land in between” – he dedicated countless hours to exploring and mapping its diverse geology.
Squaw Butte at Dawn
Morning in Canyonlands
I’ve been trying to find this petroglyph for years and was happy to finally stumble upon it this weekend!
I liked the colors and textures of this little overhang.
First Light in The Needles
Lone White Pictograph
Faded Barrier Canyon Style pictographs found under a large overhang.
A closer look at the largest striped figure.
A short slot canyon just off the Confluence Overlook Trail.
A lone little granary I came across.
These were the only clouds I would see all weekend, the rest of the time it was clear blue skies.
I found this pictograph just as the warm morning sunrise light struck it.
The end of the road above Big Spring Canyon.
Exploring Big Spring Canyon.
I spent one evening on the Cave Spring Trail to watch the sunset.
Cave Spring Pictographs
North Six-Shooter Peak at sunset from the top of the Cave Spring Trail.
A nice morning view of Junction Butte through a sandstone window.
Sunstar & Pillars in Elephant Canyon
I spent a lot of time just wandering the high sandstone ridges and soaking up the sunshine.
This flat wall had a couple scattered petroglyphs on it.
This petroglyphs of a mug is very cool.
Curved Arms & Legs
The remains of an old trough near Soda Spring.
This small boulder had a couple of faint petroglyphs on it.
Here’s a closer look at the hard-to-see petroglyphs.
It looked like there was an old cowboy camp nearby, too.
Out for an early morning drive.
This cute little granary was my favorite find of the weekend with the amazing textures on the roof of the alcove and beautiful reflected light.