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Tag: bears ears national monument

Kept in The Loop at The Needles

Friday – Sunday, March 4-6, 2022

I ended up staying home last weekend because a winter storm had moved through the area during the week and dropped plenty of snow and also the temperature, so I was anxious to get back outside this weekend and thought this would be a good time to head back to The Needles once more before things start getting busy there for the spring season. Back in the late summer of 2020 when I floated the Colorado River through Meander Canyon we didn’t quite make it all the way to The Confluence like we had hoped to and ended up stopping shortly after entering The Loop. Since then I’ve wanted to get back and try exploring more of The Loop by foot and thought this weekend would be the perfect opportunity to give that a shot. As the weekend was approaching, I was keeping my eye on another storm system was that was going to be impacting the area and almost cancelled my plans again, but with conflicting forecasts I decided to take my chances and hoped that I would be able to hike around the weather this time. I’m glad I took the chance because the weather in The Needles was great for hiking and most of the storm system missed this area completely.

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The Land In-Between: Around The Needles

Friday – Monday, January 14-17, 2022

Well here it is, my first Trip Report of 2022! This wasn’t originally supposed to be my first trip of 2022, but we ended up cancelling our plans over New Years Day weekend because of the weather and then I decided to take last weekend off, too. So now it’s time to get back at it again, and what better way to start off the year then by spending a three-day weekend exploring one of my absolute favorite places on the Colorado PlateauThe Needles! As usual, I left after work on Friday afternoon and made my way down to The Needles and found a place to camp along the Lockhart Basin Road. Then I spent the rest of the weekend exploring the Land In Between the more popular trails in the park to see what I could find along the way and ended up hiking over 36 miles. It felt good to put in some higher miles this weekend since I’ve been taking it easier after my incident in November.

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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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Grand Gulch: Kane Gulch to Bullet Canyon

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 4
Wednesday – Sunday, March 31 – April 4, 2021

Last spring Jared, Dave and I had made plans and obtained a permit to backpack on the Navajo Nation for the first time, but because the pandemic shut a lot of things down at the time, we were forced to cancel those plans. Since the Navajo Nation was still closed to visitors this spring we had to find something else to do for our annual spring backpacking trip this year. After discussing a number of different options over the winter, we finally settled on backpacking the popular loop through Grand Gulch from Kane Gulch to Bullet Canyon. Dave and I have both hiked this stretch of the canyon before, but Jared had not, and it was the last section of Grand Gulch he had not been through yet, so we wanted to make sure he got a chance to see it before it got even busier and harder to get permits. Besides, even though Diane and I had hiked this loop back in 2015, I was sure we missed quite a bit and was looking forward to getting back and spending a little more time in this section!

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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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