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Category: Camping

Valley of Shining Water: Along the Pahranagat Trail

Rock Art of the Pahranagat Valley: In Search of the Pahranagat Man
Thursday – Sunday, January 12-15, 2023

This holiday weekend I took an extra day off from work on Friday so I could spend four days hiking, camping and searching for petroglyphs in the warmer temperatures of the Pahranagat Valley in Nevada, which straddles the transition zone between the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts. But just like during my recent New Years weekend, the weather would have other plans for me this weekend. I left from work on Thursday afternoon and made my way down to St. George where I grabbed a late dinner and then found a spot to camp just over the state line in Arizona. Jared also drove down that evening after work and joined up with me at my campsite after I had already fallen asleep. In the morning we both got up just before sunrise and headed further southwest to the Moapa Valley where we followed the Muddy River to the mouth of Pahranagat Wash and went on our first hike into the narrows of Arrow Canyon.

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Drifting Around Indian Creek Country II

Friday – Sunday, January 6-8, 2023

This weekend I headed down into Indian Creek Country so I could explore more of this amazing part of the canyonlands region while also getting in my first pair of Bag Nights for 2023. Of course, I also hoped to find some new rock art and ruins along the way, too. I really enjoy coming to this part of the northern Bears Ears region during this time of the year since the weather is usually pretty mild and the crowds are non-existent. I left after work on Friday afternoon, grabbed a quick dinner in Moab and made it down into Indian Creek just in time to catch the colors of sunset, so I pulled over for a few photos along the way. I arrived at my campsite in the low light of dusk while the Wolf Moon was rising behind the clouds, listened to an audiobook for a while and then went to sleep early. Here are some photos from the weekend.

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The Canyons of North Wash

Stair Canyon, Lucky Charms, Sandthrax Slickrock & Hog Canyon
Saturday & Sunday, December 17-18, 2022

Earlier this year as I stood near the rim of Hog Canyon on Trachyte Point overlooking the sandstone wilderness that North Wash cuts through, I realized I had not done much hiking in this area and I made it one of my goals to get back to start exploring North Wash and it’s side canyons later this year. Coming from Grand Junction, I rarely have a reason to drive through North Wash to get anywhere I’m going in southern Utah since it’s out of my way, so I have only driven through this canyon a couple of times over the years. Most of those times were after exiting The Maze to Hite, and by that time I was usually in a hurry to get home and didn’t have any extra time to make additional stops along the way. Aside from stopping at a couple rock art sites near the road and going on one short hike up Leprechaun Canyon with Diane a couple years ago, I have done nothing else in North Wash and was looking forward to finally checking it out!

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Exploring the Cane Spring Desert & Ticaboo Mesa

Hiking Smith Fork and a South Fork of Ticaboo Creek
Friday – Sunday, November 18-20, 2022

Last week I was having some rare troubles deciding where to go this weekend. I was going back and forth between heading over to the San Rafael Swell or the Labyrinth Rims, but when I couldn’t make up my mind I decided it was time to go somewhere completely new to me and see what I could find. Although I have driven through the small community of Ticaboo only a handful of times, including once earlier this year, I have never actually stopped to hike or explore this area before and thought that this would be a great place to finally check out, especially since I’ve already been exploring the canyons of Trachyte Creek on the other side of the Little Rockies these past couple of years. After work on Friday I headed west into Utah with a quick stop for gas in Hanksville and then drove through the Henry Mountains and found a campsite in the Cane Spring Desert in the dark.

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Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 7

Veterans Day Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 10-13, 2022

This year for the extended Veterans Day Weekend I was feeling the pull of the ancients to return to the canyons of Cedar Mesa. Even though I seem to have been neglecting this area for a while now, I decided it was time to follow. As usual, I left from work on Thursday afternoon, drove through Moab and then headed south across Dry Valley to Monticello and Blanding. From there, I made my way west through the Comb Ridge and then up onto Cedar Mesa where I found a spot to camp along the old Emigrant Trail. After a good night of sleep I spent the rest of the weekend exploring a couple of canyons on Cedar Mesa and even made a foray into Lower White Canyon, too.

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