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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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The Canyons of North Wash II

Butler Canyon & Marinus Canyon | Saturday & Sunday, December 2-3, 2023

This weekend I decided to make my way back down into the Canyons of North Wash so I could continue what I had started last December when I spent a weekend hiking and exploring new-to-me canyons in the area. I left from home bright and early on Saturday morning and drove west on icy roads shrouded in fog until I reached the Utah state line where conditions began to improve. After a brief stop for gas in Green River I turned south and drove across the San Rafael Desert to Hanksville and then continued on to Three Forks, where North Wash, Butler Canyon and Stair Canyon all come together. An added benefit of driving south of Hanksville on Highway 95 at sunrise is being able to watch the first light of the day strike the Henry Mountains, and they put on a great show this morning so I just had to stop for a couple photos along the way!

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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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Kokopelli Loops: Troy Built Loop to Salt Creek

After Work Adventures | Thursday & Tuesday, November 16 & 21, 2023

After hiking the Lion’s Loop Trail to its junction with the Troy Built Loop on Tuesday, I thought it might be a good idea to return to the Kokopelli Loops after work on Thursday afternoon so I could finish hiking the Troy Built Trail, especially since a storm had just moved through the area earlier in the day and left some nice clouds in the sky. I thought that there had been enough time for the road to the top of Mack Ridge to dry out, but as I started driving up it I quickly found out that it was still muddy and slick in places, so I turned around and decided to hike a shorter section of the Troy Built Trail from its northern end near I-70. Thankfully, this northern portion of the trail had already dried out and wasn’t muddy, since hiking on muddy trails is not looked upon too kindly by the mountain bikers who mostly ride these trails.

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The Rim Trails at Dead Horse Point State Park

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Although I originally had a different and more local trip planned for this weekend, which I’ll hopefully be able to get back to in early December, the weather forecast made me reconsider those plans on Friday since it was predicted to start raining on Saturday afternoon and continue all through Sunday. With a partly cloudy sky in the forecast for Saturday morning I decided to get up early and head on over to Dead Horse Point State Park where I would hopefully be able to catch a nice sunrise from the main overlook and then could spend the rest of the morning hiking the remainder of the trails in the park that I had not been on before, which consisted of a loop of the East Rim Trail and the West Rim Trail along with a couple of shorter spur trails leading to overlooks along the way. A few years back Diane and I had spent a nice weekend mountain biking all of the Intrepid Trails in the park and I’ve been meaning to get back to finish up the hiking trails, so I’ve been looking forward to a return visit.

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