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The Jackson Guard Station at Silver Jack Reservoir

New Years Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 30-31, 2023

For the final weekend of 2023 Diane and I headed over to the northern end of the San Juan Mountains near the edge of the Uncompahgre Wilderness so we could snowshoe the road along the Cimarron River and spend a night at the Jackson Guard Station, which is located near the popular Silver Jack Reservoir. This historic cabin was originally used as a Forest Service Guard Station and housed Forest Service work crews. We left home on Saturday morning, drove south to Montrose then east over the Cerro Summit and soon arrived at the trailhead where we started hiking up the snow-covered road. Although we were planning for this to be a snowshoe trip, there really wasn’t very much snow on the ground yet and there were snowmobile tracks on the road to follow, so we ended up not needing to use our snowshoes for the hike.

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Christmas in Arches 2023

Moab Winter Weekend | Saturday – Monday, December 23-25, 2023

After spending last weekend exploring the sandstone fins on the east side of the Colorado River in the Sand Flats Recreation Area, it was time for me to head over to Arches National Park for the extended Christmas weekend. While I usually only spend Christmas Day in Arches and then bounce around the desert canyons surrounding Moab for the rest of the holiday weekend, this year I wanted to spend the entire three days within the park. Unfortunately, Diane would not be joining me this year since she was scheduled to work all weekend and on the holiday, so I would be on my own. I left home early on Saturday morning and drove straight to Arches National Park through a consistent rain the entire way with some fog in the lower lying areas.

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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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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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The Rico Mountains & Lizard Head Trail

Friday – Sunday, September 22-24, 2023

Earlier this summer I had planned on spending another weekend hiking and exploring around the Rico Mountains and Lizard Head Wilderness, which are located at the western end of the San Juan Mountains. I’ve enjoyed heading down to this area over the past couple of years and was looking forward to returning again, but unfortunately on that trip I had started feeling ill and ended up coming home early on the first night. This weekend I wanted to give that trip another shot before the summer season comes to an end and I start heading back into the desert for the rest of the year, so on Friday afternoon I left from work and headed back down to the Rico Mountains.

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