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Category: Highpointing

Gunnison Gorge: Smith Mountain Jeep Road

After Work Adventures | Friday, June 14, 2024

This weekend I was going to be staying close to home so I could spend a little time on the Colorado River, but since a cold font had come through the area and dropped temperatures significantly for the day, I thought it would be a good idea to head over to the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area after work so I could go for a scenic drive on the Smith Mountain Jeep Road and hike to a couple of highpoints along the way. After leaving work on Friday afternoon I drove over to Delta, grabbed dinner in town and then headed over to the Smith Mountain Saddle Trailhead where I started driving up to the top of the ridge above the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. As I was making my way up the mountain a fast-moving storm storm moved across the valley from the Uncompahgre Plateau and quickly dropped the temperature another 15 degrees as the wind picked up.

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( 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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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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The Carbon Corridor: A Few Evenings Around Price

Monday – Thursday, May 6-9, 2024

After spending the weekend in Salt Lake City with Diane, we returned home for a normal day of work on Monday and then I drove back up to Price afterwards since I would be spending the rest of the week attending the annual Utah Geographic Information Council (UGIC) Conference, which was being held in the Carbon Corridor this year. Of course, during my drive to Price I took a detour off of the highway into the very northern reaches of the San Rafael Swell so I could go on a short hike and a scenic drive before continuing on to my hotel for the night. There had been a consistent and strong cold wind blowing all day which made the hiking a bit chilly this evening and it offered a preview of what the weather would have in store for the remainder of the week!

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Utah Rims: Zion Curtain Trail to Point 5482

After Work Adventures | Friday, April 19, 2024

Since I was going to be staying closer to home this weekend so Diane and I could go to a concert on Saturday night, I decided to head out after work on Friday for a late afternoon hike on part of the Zion Curtain Trail to a highpoint in the Utah Rims area just west of the state line and Rabbit Valley. After driving west into Utah on the old 6 & 50 Highway, I headed south on a narrow Jeep track to the rim of the mesa above McDonald Creek and then hiked west along the Zion Curtain Trail to Point 5482. I was hoping that the sun might peek out from behind the clouds for to add some nice light to the landscape this evening, but it stayed pretty cloudy throughout my short hike.

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