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Little Book Cliffs: Main Canyon to Cottonwood Canyon

Labor Day Weekend | Sunday, September 3, 2023

Last week, after cutting my trip into the High Plateaus of Utah short, I came home on Friday with the intention of heading up into the San Juan Mountains over the weekend, but instead I ended up being lazy and staying home all day Saturday. I didn’t want to stay at home the entire weekend, so on Sunday morning I got up early and headed over to the Little Book Cliffs so I could hike up Main Canyon to it’s junction with Cottonwood Canyon. I had hiked a couple miles up Main Canyon back in 2016, but was turned around by thunderstorms that evening, so I was looking forward to finishing up the rest of the trail this time.

When I first arrived at the top of the divide between Coal Canyon and Main Canyon it was pretty cloudy out and my hopes of a nice sunrise were diminishing quickly.

Cloudy Morning

Here’s a view looking the other way across Coal Canyon to Mount Lincoln.

Mount Lincoln

When I started seeing a little color in the clouds behind Cameo Point my hopes for a nice sunset started to rise again.

Below Cameo Point

I followed the trail down from the ridge to the wash in Main Canyon hoping for the sun to come out.

Morning in Main Canyon

Main Canyon Trail

Main Canyon Trail

Finally, some sunlight broke free of the clouds and started illuminating the cliffs above me!

Morning Light

Little Book Cliffs Light

Little Book Cliffs Light

I turned around and the light on Cameo Point was amazing, but it didn’t last long!

Cameo Point Sunrise

Mud Cracks in Black & White

Mud Cracks in Black & White

Shortly after passing by the mouth of Spring Canyon I came across a small band of wild horses near the trail.

Band of Wild Horses

Although the wash was mostly dry for the first couple of miles, soon Jerry Creek had a little bit of flowing water in it.

Jerry Creek View

Canyon & Clouds

Canyon & Clouds

The creek dried up again as I neared the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon.

Little Book Cliffs Views

Here’s a view up Cottonwood Canyon from my turnaround point this morning.

Cottonwood Canyon

It was a beautiful morning for a walk in the Little Book Cliffs.

Main Canyon Morning

Boulder in the Wash

Jerry Creek

Main Canyon View

Main Canyon Wash

Looking back for one last view over Main Canyon as I crossed the divide back into Coal Canyon and then headed home.

Leaving Main Canyon

>> Main Canyon to Cottonwood Canyon Photo Gallery

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