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Tag: book cliffs

Bookin’ It to the Book Cliffs

Memorial Day Weekend | Friday – Monday, May 28-31, 2021

Last year Diane and I completely skipped going anywhere over the Memorial Day weekend because we didn’t want to deal with the massive COVID-crowds that were out and about at the time, but this year I wanted to get out somewhere close to home while still avoiding the crowds. After poring over maps I decided that the best place for me to go this year would be up into the Book Cliffs. Not only are the Book Cliffs close to home, but I don’t think they are a place that crowds usually flock to and I was hoping to find plenty of solitude. It’s actually been quite a while since I spent much time in the Book Cliffs so this would be a good opportunity for me to revisit some places I haven’t been to in a while and also explore some new ones! I knew it would probably be pretty warm out this weekend, so I was planning to take it easy by mostly exploring the backroads with my Jeep and only going on short hikes along the way.

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Dinosaurland: Ruple Point to the Yampa Bench

Friday – Sunday, April 30 – May 2, 2021

After spending last weekend backpacking in Salt Creek Canyon I was looking to take it a little easier this weekend, especially since that trip didn’t start out so great. I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go, but I did know that I was done with driving through Moab this season and didn’t want to deal with that traffic again for a while. Late in the week I made a last minute decision to head north to Dinosaur National Monument and planned to spend my time in the eastern portion of the park, which is mostly in Colorado. I figured this part of the park away from the Dinosaur Quarry probably wouldn’t be very crowded and it would be a good opportunity for me to spend some time hiking the remaining trails in the park that I have not been on before. Hopefully I will be able to complete them all in the near future like I did in The Needles and the Island in the Sky. It’s been a little while since I last visited Dinosaurland, especially on the Colorado side, so I was looking forward to getting back again!

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The Colorado River: Palisade to Grand Junction

Palisade Riverbend Park to the Redlands Parkway Boat Ramp
Sunday, May 24, 2020

Even though I had decided to stay home this holiday weekend, I still managed to take a few hours off from packing up our house on Sunday morning so I get on the Colorado River with a few friends for a float through the Grand Valley. A few days prior I had coordinated this last-minute trip with Jackson and Chris at work, and then I found out on Sunday morning that my friend Steve would also be joining us also, which was a nice surprise since I hadn’t seen him in a little while. Since the river is moving fast from spring runoff this time of the year, we decided to put in at the Riverbend Park in Palisade and take out at the Redlands Parkway Boat Ramp, which is about a 17 mile stretch of the river. I haven’t done this section of the Colorado River in a long time, and actually the only time I floated this stretch was with Jackson in his inflatable kayak before I bought my own. We got an early start to try and beat the crowds that we knew would be getting on the river later in the day and we also hoped that the cooler temperature out today might help keep the crowds at bay.

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Lonesome Lips Arch & Horsethief Canyon Overlook

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness
Thursday, May 7, 2020

This evening I headed out after work again to continue my local arch hunting endeavors within the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness. I drove over Black Ridge for the second time this week, but this time I continued all the way to the Rattlesnake Arches Trailhead at the very end of the road. I had no intentions of visiting the popular arches in Rattlesnake Canyon this evening, instead, I was going to look for the lesser-known Lonesome Lips Arch which is located at the edge of a small mesa above a short unnamed canyon that is closer to the Colorado River. As I started descending the Rattlesnake Arches Trail I quickly spotted the arch I was looking at far below and headed that direction.

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The Search for Goblin Gulch

Canyons of the Black Ridge: “Trailing the Ghosts and Gnomes of Goblin Gulch”
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

When Will Minor started to hunt for a small band of strayed Angora goats he little dreamed he soon would have cause to forget them. As he entered a tiny canyon he suddenly came face to face with the weirdest collection of natural forms he ever had seen. The soft white sandstone of the canyon walls was covered with faces and figures—some animal, some human, some resembling modernistic sculpture and others like nightmarish creatures which only a writer of horror fiction could conceive.

– Desert Magazine, May 1944

Last week while I was going down the rabbit hole of searching online for more information about Will Minor and the High Trail, I came across an old magazine article that was written by him called Trailing the Ghosts and Gnomes of Goblin Gulch. This article was featured in the May, 1944 issue of Desert Magazine and was about a place he found many stone faces weathered from soft white sandstone just below Black Ridge that he called Goblin Gulch. I had never heard or seen anything about this location before, but the article and photos really piqued my interest and I knew I would have to try to find this forgotten place hidden within the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness!

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