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The Twists and Turns of Salt Creek Canyon

Canyonlands National Park | Thursday – Monday, April 4-8, 2024

After a rugged hike around Navajo Mountain last year, Dave, Jared and I decided to return to a very familiar place in Canyonlands National Park for our annual spring backpacking trip this year as we started making plans to continue exploring the twists and turns of Salt Creek Canyon a few months ago. Although we have all hiked into Salt Creek many times over the years, I hadn’t been back to the middle section of the canyon since our first hike down the length of the canyon just about ten years ago, and I was looking forward to returning! I left from work on Thursday afternoon and made my way to Indian Creek Country for the evening where I found a campsite and watched a colorful sunset on the surrounding cliffs while waiting for Dave and Jared to arrive.

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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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Across the King Bench: Horse Canyon to The Gulch

Canyons of the Escalante | Friday – Saturday, February 26-27, 2021

This weekend I met up with my friends Dennis and Chris inside of the Circle Cliffs west of the Waterpocket Fold so we could explore a few more Canyons of the Escalante. Over the winter Dennis and I had spoken about getting together for a hike sometime this spring since it had been a while, and he told me about his plans to hike over into The Gulch from Horse Canyon using an old stock trail to get up onto the King Bench. This sounded like a great idea to me, especially since I had never driven the road into Horse Canyon before since it used to be an ‘Administrative Road’ in the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, so we made plans to meet up the last weekend of February for the hike.

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Secrets of Canyonlands

Friday – Sunday, March 22-24, 2019

This past week was an unusual one for me since I spent most of it in Rifle, Colorado attending a training class so I could get a Remote Pilot Certification (FAA Small UAS Rule, Part 107) for work. The funny thing is that I have never touched a drone in my life, and as of Friday morning I am now an FAA certified Drone Pilot! After taking the required test at the Grand Junction Airport on Friday morning and then having lunch with Diane afterwards, I drove into Utah through scattered storms to Moab before continuing on to The Needles for the second weekend in a row. On Sunday morning I was going to be meeting up with my friend Clyde so we could go on a hike together, but until then I was going to be spending Friday evening and all day Saturday revisiting a few rock art sites and searching for new ruins and rock art panels on my own. I would find a couple of secrets along the way…

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Thanksgiving Under the Bears Ears

Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 22-25, 2018

This year Diane and I kept our annual tradition of spending the long Thanksgiving weekend searching for ruins and rock art on Cedar Mesa alive. (Not counting that one year we went to New Mexico instead, of course.) Although the mountains of Colorado got a lot of much-needed snow over the holiday weekend, the precipitation mostly missed the Four Corners region and we had very pleasant hiking weather just about every day. The higher elevations of Cedar Mesa and Elk Ridge did receive a little snow on Thursday evening, but it had pretty much all melted off by Friday afternoon. As usual, we found some new sites and revisited some of our favorites, too. It wasn’t planned, but we ended up visiting three different kivas that were all pretty well-preserved and had a great weekend exploring one of my favorite areas in the southwest! Check out all the photos from our Thanksgiving adventure below!

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