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Category: Touring

Christmas in Arches 2023

Moab Winter Weekend | Saturday – Monday, December 23-25, 2023

After spending last weekend exploring the sandstone fins on the east side of the Colorado River in the Sand Flats Recreation Area, it was time for me to head over to Arches National Park for the extended Christmas weekend. While I usually only spend Christmas Day in Arches and then bounce around the desert canyons surrounding Moab for the rest of the holiday weekend, this year I wanted to spend the entire three days within the park. Unfortunately, Diane would not be joining me this year since she was scheduled to work all weekend and on the holiday, so I would be on my own. I left home early on Saturday morning and drove straight to Arches National Park through a consistent rain the entire way with some fog in the lower lying areas.

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Five Years Later: Nine Mile Canyon 2023

Saturday & Sunday, December 9-10, 2023

Diane hasn’t been able to join me on a weekend trip for a little while now, so when she got her schedule a few months back and saw that she had this weekend off we made plans to spend some time in one of our favorite places that for some reason we had not been back to in quite a while. It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s been over five years (has it really been that long!?) since the last time Diane and I spent any time exploring Nine Mile Canyon together and we were definitely overdue for a return visit! We left home early on Saturday morning, drove to Wellington and then spent the remainder of the weekend searching for Rock Art in and around the canyon. We revisited some sites we have been to before, but we also found plenty of new stuff along the way, too. Here are some photos of what we saw this weekend…

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Below the Bears Ears: Thanksgiving Weekend 2023

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 10 | Thursday – Sunday, November 23-26, 2023

This year for the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend I returned Below the Bears Ears to the canyons of Cedar Mesa like I typically do at this time of the year, so I could explore some new places and maybe revisit some old ones along the way. When I left home early on Thursday morning the weather forecast was not looking that great for Friday into Saturday with our first real winter storm on the way, but I wasn’t too concerned about it since I had plenty of backup hikes in mind that I could go on regardless of what the weather had in store. That turned out to be a good thing since the higher elevations of Cedar Mesas did end up getting some snow and I had to alter my original plans a bit so I could hike into canyons at lower elevations. While Diane would usually join me on this annual trip, this year she was scheduled to work part of the weekend and was unfortunately unable to come with, so I would be flying solo this time.

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Kodachrome Flat: Land of Sand Pipes & Chimneys

Veterans Day Weekend at Kodachrome Basin State Park
Thursday – Sunday, November 9-12, 2023

Kodachrome Basin State Park is a relatively small park located in Southern Utah that is nestled into the rugged canyon country between the White Cliffs and the Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase and is best known for the sixty-seven towering sand pipes that dominate the desert landscape. These sedimentary pipes are believed to be found nowhere else on earth and while there are several theories that have been proposed to try to explain their formation, geologists are still unsure of the exact origin of these unusual sand spires. Over the years I have driven right past the entrance to Kodachrome Basin on numerous occasions as I have driven down the Cottonwood Road while exploring the Grand – Staircase Escalate National Monument, which practically surrounds this small reserve, and in all that time I have never stopped to check it out. This holiday weekend I finally planned to change all that by spending some quality time hiking and exploring the interesting landscape of Kodachrome Flat.

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Hovenweep’s Centennial and the Great Sage Plain

Hovenweep National Monument & Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Saturday – Monday, October 21-23, 2023

It feels like it’s been quite a while since the last time I visited and spent some quality time in Hovenweep National Monument and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and I’ve been really meaning to get back down to that area for the past couple of years, but it just hadn’t seemed to happen yet as I keep putting it off for other trips. However, this year I made it a priority to get back with Diane so we could celebrate Hovenweep’s Centennial year since it was proclaimed a unit of the National Park System on March 2, 1923 by President Warren G. Harding. I also figured that this would be a great opportunity for Diane to visit the units of the park she had not been to before and I would be able to hike the few remaining trails in Hovenweep that I had not been on before and could finally cross this park off my ‘completed trails’ list. So early on Saturday morning Diane and I loaded up the Jeep and headed south along the Colorado – Utah state line to spend an extended three-day weekend exploring Hovenweep and other canyons of the Great Sage Plain!

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