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Month: October 2022

Realm of Rock: Elephant Hill to The Grabens

A Last Minute Trip into The Needles | Friday – Sunday, October 14-16, 2022

This weekend Jackson and I had made plans to go camping and hiking together but we were having trouble deciding where to go and running out of time, especially during this busy Fall Break weekend in southern Utah. On a whim Thursday afternoon we looked to see what campsites were still available in Canyonlands National Park and found that the New Bates Wilson site was open, so I booked it and quickly made last minute plans for us to head into The Needles. To get to the New Bates Wilson campsite we would have to drive over Elephant Hill, so this would also be a great opportunity for me to finally get my new Jeep on a real trail.

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Fiftymile Point to Davis Gulch & The Hole-in-the-Rock

Canyons of the Escalante | Southern Utah Wanderings
Wednesday – Friday, October 5-7, 2022

After spending the last day and a half along the western end of the Vermilion Cliffs we headed back over the Paunsaugunt Plateau and returned to Escalante early on Wednesday afternoon. While we were in town we grabbed some dinner and topped off our fuel tanks before heading southeast down the Hole-in-the-Rock Road below the Straight Cliffs. Surprisingly, the road was in better condition than we were expecting and we made great time to the Davis Gulch Trailhead located just below Fiftymile Point. We still had plenty of time until sunset, so we decided to continue on to the very end of the road so we could maybe hike down the Hole-in-the-Rock to Lake Powell. I hadn’t been out to the end of the Hole-in-the-Rock Road since 2009, so it was nice to refresh my memory of the area.

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Canaan Mountain: Water Canyon to the White Domes

Southern Utah Wanderings | Tuesday & Wednesday, October 4-5, 2022

After leaving Escalante on Monday evening, making our way over the Paunsaugunt Plateau, and driving past the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in the dark to the Block Mesas, we then started heading north on sandy Jeep roads past Elephant Butte so we could hike into the East Fork of the Virgin River on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, we ended up running into a number of very washed out sections of the roads that stopped our progress and since it was starting to get late we decided to backtrack a bit and find a campsite for the night. Now we would switch our plans around and hike up Water Canyon onto Canaan Mountain on Tuesday morning instead, and then we would see if we wanted try to find another route to The Barracks afterwards.

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Canyons of the Escalante: The Box of Pine Creek

Southern Utah Wanderings | Monday, October 3, 2022

After staying up too late on Sunday evening for a concert that was delayed and cut short, I woke up early on Monday and made my way over to Escalante where I met up with Jared later in the morning. There was a very nice and colorful sunrise as I drove across the San Rafael Desert, but I didn’t stop for any photos this time. After getting gas in town we decided to start the week off with a warm-up hike through The Box this afternoon, so we dropped off my Jeep at the lower trailhead and then took Jared’s Jeep to the upper trailhead on the shoulder of Boulder Mountain where we started the 1,500 foot descent along Pine Creek.

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Million Dollar Highway Fall Colors

Fall Colors 2022 | Friday – Saturday, September 30 – October 1, 2022

Normally, I would have left from work on Friday afternoon and headed west into Utah to spend the entire week exploring new canyons of the Colorado Plateau, but this year there was a concert on Sunday evening that delayed the start of my trip by a couple days, so I thought I would try to get up into the high country near Silverton one last time until next summer. Unfortunately, the weather would have other plans for me this weekend and I would end up just taking some photos of the fall colors along the Million Dollar Highway on Saturday morning instead.

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