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Category: Touring

( 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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Big Water in Cataract Canyon: The Colorado River

Utah’s Biggest Whitewater in Canyonlands National Park | Average CFS: 31,500
Friday – Sunday, May 31 – June 2, 2024

As many of you already know, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time exploring, hiking, backpacking, Jeeping and floating the rivers within Canyonlands National Park over the years. However, Cataract Canyon has been the one section of the Colorado River in Canyonlands that has eluded me over that time. Since there’s a pretty good chance I might never have the opportunity to navigate the large rapids of Cataract Canyon on a private river trip, I figured this would probably be a good place to try out a commercial river trip for the first time and see how it goes. So late last year I booked a 3-day motorized trip with Mild To Wild Rafting and then my friend Jackson did the same for his family so we could go on the trip together. Since we would be in a large raft with an experienced guide on this trip instead of in our little inflatable kayaks, we tried to time the trip to coincide with the highest water of the year that typically happens during spring runoff in late May and early June, and I think we ended up doing a pretty good job on the timing.

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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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Jurassic National Monument

Cleveland – Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry | Friday, May 3, 2024

This weekend Diane and I headed up to Salt Lake City so we could attend a pair of concerts put on by Imminence & The Amity Affliction, which are a couple of our favorite bands that we’ve been looking forward to seeing. Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get in a little hiking along the way to break up the drive to the big city, so we took a detour off the highway to spend a couple hours visiting the Cleveland – Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry at Jurassic National Monument, which is well known for containing the densest concentration of Jurassic dinosaur fossils ever found. Jurassic National Monument is a relatively new designation as it officially came into existence back in 2019 with the signing of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which also created a number of Wilderness Areas around the San Rafael Swell. I’ve been meaning to make my way over to this area for a long time, so I was glad to have finally made it!

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