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Author: Randy Langstraat

( ЯR ) The Rimrocker Trail: Montrose to Moab

Getting Lost in the West End: Across the Uncompahgre Plateau & La Sal Mountains
Friday – Sunday, June 7-9, 2024

After having an amazing time on the river in Cataract Canyon last weekend, I wanted to take it easy and stay a bit closer to home this weekend. With warmer temperatures in the valleys and still too much snow in the high country for me, I thought this might be a great opportunity to finally take a scenic weekend drive across the Uncompahgre Plateau and La Sal Mountains from Montrose to Moab on the Rimrocker Trail, while also taking the time to stop for a few short hikes and side trips along the way. The Rimrocker Trail was created in 2016 by linking up existing roads in this remote area of Western Colorado, many of which I have already driven over the past twenty years, especially while I was working on mapping out a 4X4 route of the Tabeguache Trail and Paradox Trail. But even though I have already driven many of these roads before, it’s been a long time and I really don’t remember very much about them, so I was looking forward to the refresher on this 160 mile route. So after spending Friday evening in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, I drove across the Uncompahgre River Valley and found a campsite near Temple Park and the beginning of the Rimrocker Trail so I could get an early start on Saturday morning.

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Final Trails at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

After Work Adventures | Friday, June 7, 2024

After finishing my last hike at the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park two weekends ago, that left me with only one short trail in the entire park that I had not hiked yet, along with maybe a couple of other short walks to overlooks that I could not remember if I had ever been out to before, though I most likely had a long time ago. Since I was going to be in the area to start driving the Rimrocker Trail from Montrose to Moab on Saturday morning, I figured that I might as well head over to the Black Canyon on Friday evening so I could spend a few hours there and finish hiking all the trails in the park. As usual, I left work on Friday and made my way down to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Although it is currently the busy season for the park, I was hoping it wouldn’t be quite as busy because of the ongoing US 50 bridge closure and road construction inside the park.

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Memorial Day Weekend Along the Black Canyon

Memorial Day Weekend | Friday – Sunday, May 24-26, 2024

This Memorial Day Weekend I decided to stay a little closer to home so I could spend some time along the Gunnison River in both the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Since it’s getting to be that time of the year when the desert is starting to get a little too warm for me and there is still too much snow up in the high country, luckily this area along the rim of the Black Canyon is in-between and usually just right at this time of the year.

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Third Flats Road & Art Cook’s View

After Work Adventures | Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Just like last week, I headed over to the Third Flats area after work this afternoon so I could hike a new trail to a highpoint on Horse Mesa, and also just like last week, I ended up changing those plans because of threatening storms in the area. After leaving work and driving up Little Park Road into the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area, I drove down the Third Flats Road all the way to the Gunnison River near the mouth of Billings Canyon and was hoping to hike up to the top of Horse Point from there. However, there were rainstorms in the area and the final section of the road down to the Gunnison River was cut through clay and I didn’t want to chance getting stuck down there if it rained, so I drove back up the road a little ways and hiked the Art Cook’s View Trail instead. I’ll have to come back for Horse Point another time.

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Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 12

Friday – Sunday, May 10-12 & 17-19, 2024

After leaving the UGIC Conference on Friday afternoon I was originally planning to spend the rest of the weekend exploring the nearby Book Cliffs and Tavaputs Plateau, but with all the rain and snow the area had received this week, and with even more predicted over the next couple of days, I figured that was probably not a great place to be right now. Although I did have backup plans for the San Rafael Swell in case of bad weather, after saying goodbye to Moab on Thursday I was feeling the need to get out into a landscape that I have a more personal connection with and feel at home in so I could grieve alone, so I decided to head down to Cedar Mesa, even if it meant a longer drive out of the way. Since I was leaving from Price, this meant I could avoid the traffic in Moab and drive to Cedar Mesa through Hanksville, which is a route I don’t drive very often since it usually doesn’t make much sense for me to go that way. After stopping for an early dinner in Hanksville, I followed North Wash and White Canyon to Cedar Mesa and went straight to the Todie Canyon Trailhead so I could walk the rim at sunset.

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