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Tag: colorado plateau

Moab Meanderings: Both Sides of The Portal

Saturday, January 21, 2023

This weekend I decided to stay close to home and went on a day trip to Moab. I originally had other hiking ideas in mind when I left home on Saturday morning, but the Jeep roads I needed to drive were covered with snow and ice and a bit sketchy, so I ended up staying closer to the pavement and hiked trails on both sides of The Portal, which is where the Colorado River enters the canyon just downstream from town. First I headed over to the Moab Rim Trailhead and was going to hike up the technical 4×4 road, but then I noticed there was now a new hiking trail, which wasn’t here the last time I hiked down from the Moab Rim, called the Stairmaster Trail- so I hiked up that one.

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Drifting Around Indian Creek Country II

Friday – Sunday, January 6-8, 2023

This weekend I headed down into Indian Creek Country so I could explore more of this amazing part of the canyonlands region while also getting in my first pair of Bag Nights for 2023. Of course, I also hoped to find some new rock art and ruins along the way, too. I really enjoy coming to this part of the northern Bears Ears region during this time of the year since the weather is usually pretty mild and the crowds are non-existent. I left after work on Friday afternoon, grabbed a quick dinner in Moab and made it down into Indian Creek just in time to catch the colors of sunset, so I pulled over for a few photos along the way. I arrived at my campsite in the low light of dusk while the Wolf Moon was rising behind the clouds, listened to an audiobook for a while and then went to sleep early. Here are some photos from the weekend.

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Rock Art of the San Juan River

New Years Weekend | Saturday – Monday, December 31 – January 2, 2023

This year for the extended New Years Weekend Diane and I had hoped to do some hiking and exploring along the Comb Ridge and San Juan River, but thanks to the ‘atmospheric river’ that was impacting the weather across the western United States, those plans had to change since the Butler Wash Road was a muddy mess from all access points and I decided to avoid it. That meant we’d be skipping the Comb Ridge this time and instead would be spending our holiday weekend searching for rock art closer to the San Juan River. Luckily, we were also able to avoid most of the rain and snow on Saturday and Sunday and only encountered a couple light sprinkles while we were out hiking. While I had seen many of these sites before, this was Diane’s first time seeing most of them and we found plenty of new stuff along the way, too! Below are photos of just some of the many petroglyphs we saw this weekend.

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Christmas in Arches 2022

Moab Winter Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 24-25, 2022

Christmas is here once again, which means that it was time for Diane and I to continue our annual tradition of spending Christmas Day in Arches National Park. This would be my fifteenth year visiting Arches around the yuletide holiday and Diane has been joining me for the past nine of those years on Christmas Day. Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, Diane and I headed down to Moab on Saturday morning and we did a little exploring around the area before spending the night in town. Then we got up early on Sunday morning and drove to the Devils Garden Trailhead so we could hike out to Landscape Arch at sunrise before we spent the rest of the day in other parts of the park.

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The Canyons of North Wash

Stair Canyon, Lucky Charms, Sandthrax Slickrock & Hog Canyon
Saturday & Sunday, December 17-18, 2022

Earlier this year as I stood near the rim of Hog Canyon on Trachyte Point overlooking the sandstone wilderness that North Wash cuts through, I realized I had not done much hiking in this area and I made it one of my goals to get back to start exploring North Wash and it’s side canyons later this year. Coming from Grand Junction, I rarely have a reason to drive through North Wash to get anywhere I’m going in southern Utah since it’s out of my way, so I have only driven through this canyon a couple of times over the years. Most of those times were after exiting The Maze to Hite, and by that time I was usually in a hurry to get home and didn’t have any extra time to make additional stops along the way. Aside from stopping at a couple rock art sites near the road and going on one short hike up Leprechaun Canyon with Diane a couple years ago, I have done nothing else in North Wash and was looking forward to finally checking it out!

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