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Tag: dawn

Canyons of the San Rafael Reef

Black Dragon Wash to Ernie Canyon
Friday – Sunday, January 29-31, 2021

Over the past couple of years I’ve spent a weekend in January exploring the canyons of the San Rafael Reef at the edge of the San Rafael Swell just west of Green River. I guess I’ve continued to do this each year because it’s an easy drive from home and it doesn’t really matter if there is snow on the ground or not. Plus, it’s just a great place to explore anytime! With this weekend being the last one in January and the weather looking good, I thought that it would be nice to keep up the tradition and headed back to the San Rafael Reef! As usual, I left right from work on Friday afternoon and drove west on I-70 until I reached the San Rafael Reef. Just before driving through Spotted Wolf Canyon on the interstate, I took a side road to the north and found a place to camp near the mouth of Black Dragon Canyon. For a brief time there was a little light snow that fell, but it didn’t stick and stopped just as quickly as it had started. As soon as the clouds dissipated the light from the Wolf Moon filled the canyon.

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The Intrepid Trails at Dead Horse Point State Park

Saturday & Sunday, December 5-6, 2020

Since Diane and I both got new mountain bikes within the past couple of months and I am actually enjoying riding the new bike I got so far, I thought it would be fun to reserve a yurt at Dead Horse Point State Park for the weekend so we could check out the Intrepid Mountain Bike Trails since they are supposed to be on the easy side and we are still both pretty new to this. Also, since we enjoyed our stay in a yurt at Goblin Valley State Park last winter, I was interested in doing it again and spending more quality time exploring another of Utah’s State Parks since all of my previous visits to Dead Horse Point have been quick visits at sunrise for photos. When I booked the yurt back in October I knew that I was taking a chance on the weather, especially since we wanted to mountain bike. In early December there could be a foot of snow from a recent winter storm up here, or it could be beautiful sunny weather in the 50’s during the day. Thankfully we got lucky this weekend and had pretty great conditions for this time of the year. The highs were in the upper 40’s with a lot of sunshine and the lows were only in the low 30’s, which was even warmer than our Thanksgiving trip to Cedar Mesa last weekend. Of course, the lows at night didn’t really matter much to us since we were staying in a heated yurt.

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The Paria River: Old Paria Townsite to Starlight Canyon

Canyons of the Paria | Southern Utah Wanderings
Wednesday – Thursday, October 7-8, 2020

After spending Wednesday afternoon going on a pair of short hikes along The Cockscomb and then grabbing a quick dinner in Kanab, Jared and I made our way back to the Paria River to find a place to camp just after dark past the Old Paria Townsite and Movie Set. We found a great spot at the very end of the road under a couple cottonwood trees and set up camp in the dark. Our plan for Thursday was to hike up the Paria River to Starlight Canyon and this time we wanted to get an earlier start since it was going to be a longer hike, so we made sure to get to bed early.

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The White Mountains: White Mountain Peak

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Wednesday & Thursday, September 2-3, 2020

After hiking to the summit of Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park on Wednesday morning, I continued my ‘Loneliest Road Trip in America‘ across the Great Basin as I drove to the west end of Nevada. My next destination would be in the White Mountains located along the eastern edge of California so that I could hike to the summit of White Mountain Peak on Thursday morning, which is the third highest mountain in California at 14,252 feet. Since it doesn’t look like I am going to be climbing any 14ers in Colorado this summer, which will be the first time in over ten years for me, I figured that I could at least hike one new 14er in California this year instead! I haven’t hiked in the mountains of California since I did Mount Whitney in 2014, so I was looking forward to returning!

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Great Basin National Park: Wheeler Peak

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Tuesday & Wednesday, September 1-2, 2020

Last summer I got the idea in my head that I wanted to hike a couple of high peaks in Nevada and California over the Labor Day weekend and started putting together rough plans for a road trip that would take me Across the Great Basin and Back. Although many of my spring trips got cancelled because of COVID-19, I decided I was still going to go on this one since I would be alone and visiting more remote places during the week where I would not come into contact with a lot of other people. I mean, what better place is there to go for social distancing than by taking a road trip along one of the Loneliest Roads in America! For years I’ve wanted to visit Great Basin National Park to climb Wheeler Peak, so that’s where I decided to start this trip. Although many Nevadans consider Wheeler Peak to be the spiritual and symbolic highpoint of the state, the actual highest point in Nevada is Boundary Peak located near the western edge of the state. Whatever the status of the peak, all I knew is that I wanted to visit Great Basin National Park and hike to the summit for the view!

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