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Tag: abajo mountains

Under The Ledge: Trails in the Land of Standing Rocks

Lost In The Maze II | Wednesday – Sunday, April 6-10, 2022

I can hardly believe it’s been just over four years since my last visit to the Land of Standing Rocks in Canyonlands National Park. It feels like it was just yesterday when Diane and I were heading out to The Maze over the long Memorial Day weekend each spring, and I’ve recently had a strong desire to return. After completing all the trails in The Needles and the Island in the Sky in 2018 and 2019, The Maze is the only remaining district of Canyonlands where I have not hiked every official trail on the map, so I figured it was time to head back and continue working on completing that personal goal. That’s part of the reason I hiked down the North Trail late last year. So back in early November I got on Rec.gov and booked couple campsites in the Land of Standing Rocks, two nights at Chimney Rock and two nights at The Wall, which seemed like a good place to basecamp for the trails that I wanted to hike this time. My friend Jerry, Jared and Dave were going to be joining me on this trip, but unfortunately Jerry got sick just before the trip started and was unable to make it this time.

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The White Rim to Monument Basin

Friday – Sunday, February 4-6, 2022

For the past two years I have spent the first weekend in February exploring the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park. You can find those two Trip Reports here: White Crack Trail to The Confluence & Airport Tower to Monument Basin. I’ve had good weather and great views on each of those trips so I decided to do it one more time this year and grabbed a camping permit for Gooseberry and Airport back in November before the prices of backcountry permits were raised, so this was going to be my last trip at the old price. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring from the White Rim Trail over the years and am actually running out of places I want to check out, but one place I’ve really wanted to hike down to for a long time is Monument Basin, so I figured this trip would be the perfect opportunity to finally give it a try. I knew Jared would be very interested in this hike, so I made sure to invite him along, too.

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Blue Mountain Shadows: Beef Basin to Cedar Mesa

Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Friday, October 1-8, 2021

This year for our annual week-long trek into Southern Utah, Jared and I started out in the Beef Basin area and then we explored our way over to Cedar Mesa. It has been a while since either of us had spent much time around Beef Basin and I was also really hoping that we would be able to spend some quality time around the Dark Canyon Plateau and Elk Ridge areas along the way. The trip started out great and we found plenty of new rock art and ruin sites, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with us on the second half of this trip and we had to change our plans multiple times because of storms and slick muddy roads. At one point we even stopped to help winch a truck back onto the road that was sliding off. One of the unexpected benefits of the poor weather was that it chased us closer to the Abajo Mountains than we were originally planning to go, and they were in peak falls colors at the time! At the end of the week we found out that President Biden was restoring the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument, which was fitting since we were sitting in camp within the newly restored boundary. I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty details of this trip, so please enjoy plenty of photos from our journey below.

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Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 3

Thursday – Sunday, March 25-28, 2021

This weekend Jerry and I were planning to go on a three-day backpacking trip in Capitol Reef National Park, but as the weekend got closer the weather forecast was not looking good. The forecast was calling for much cooler temperatures with rain and snow which would not have been good for the narrow water-filled canyon we wanted to hike, so it looked like we would be changing our plans. Instead, we decided to head further south to Comb Ridge and Cedar Mesa since we knew we would be able to work around the weather there no matter what it did. I left after work on Friday afternoon and headed south to meet up with Jerry. After getting stuck in traffic for a while just before entering Moab, I drove through some pretty strong winds with snow from about Monticello to Blanding. I met Jerry at the Butler Wash Ruins just after sunset and we decided to camp along Comb Wash, just in case there was a lot of precipitation overnight and the roads got muddy. As predicted, there was more rain and snow overnight so on Friday we stuck to the lower elevations and did a little hiking on Comb Ridge. Later in the day things had started to dry out so we headed up onto Cedar Mesa for the rest of the weekend. Here are some photos from our weekend spent below the Bears Ears.

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The White Rim: Airport Tower to Monument Basin

Friday – Sunday, February 5-7, 2021

While I had an amazing time supporting Diane and Jared as they biked the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park last October, I didn’t quite have enough time on that trip to get in all the hiking that I had wanted to do because they were riding faster than I had anticipated! Since I had a backpacking trip to The Needles last spring that was cancelled because of COVID and I needed to reschedule that permit or lose in the next few months, I thought it would be nice to head back on my own to the east side of the White Rim so I could make up the hikes I had skipped out on. Last year the weather for our hike from the White Crack to The Confluence in early February was very nice, so I thought I would head back the same weekend this year, too.

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