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Category: Canyoneering

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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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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The Crest of the Henry Mountains: Mount Ellen

Henry Mountains Peak Bagging | Friday – Sunday, June 17-19, 2022

After spending the last two weekends on the river, it was time for me to start off my summer season up in the mountains since it’s been getting pretty warm down in the desert. For the past couple of years I have started my mountain season in the La Sal Mountains, but this time I decided to change things up and spend the weekend in the Henry Mountains instead since I haven’t spent any real time in that range for quite some time and I’ve been wanting to get back. This time I invited my friend Jared along, and even though I warned him I would probably be hiking very slow this weekend since I haven’t done much real hiking lately- especially at elevation, he still wanted to come along, so we planned to meet at Wickiup Pass after work on Friday evening.

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Lost in the Fold: Halls Creek Narrows

Canyons of the Waterpocket Fold: The Other Grand Gulch
Friday – Monday, March 18-21, 2022

This weekend I finally had the opportunity to hike into the Halls Creek Narrows which are located at the very southern tip of Capitol Reef National Park, as I continue to work my way through the many interesting Canyons of the Waterpocket Fold. This hike has been long overdue for me as I’ve tentatively planned to go here almost every year for at least the last five years, but it seems that something has always come up that made me cancel those plans- usually the weather forecast. Since Diane had a couple days off from school for a short spring break after this weekend she would also be able to join me on this three day backpacking trip. I left early from work on Friday afternoon and we made our way into Utah after Diane was finished taking her latest exam. I stopped to grab an early dinner from Stan’s in Hanksville and topped off my gas tank at $4.89 per gallon before we continued on past Trachyte Creek and Ticaboo to the Burr Trail Road where we found a great campsite overlooking Bullfrog Creek to the Henry Mountains. We set up our tent at the rim of the canyon and relaxed around camp for the remainder of the evening before going to bed early after photographing a pretty lackluster sunset.

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