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Tag: dominguez – escalante national conservation area

The Gunnison River: Escalante Creek to Bridgeport

Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Average CFS: 2,635

This weekend I was looking to stay local and to get back on the river for the first time this season, so I made plans with my friend Jackson to float a section of the Gunnison River along the northeastern edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau from Escalante Creek to Bridgeport on Saturday morning- assuming the windy weather we’ve been having across the Southwest would cooperate! Although I have floated this section of the Gunnison River once before back in 2009, that time I tagged along with a friend in his raft and I really don’t remember much about the trip, so I was looking forward to getting back with my own inflatable kayak this time. In order to try to beat the wind, Jackson and his son Ken met me at my house early in the morning and transferred their gear into my Jeep. We then dropped Jackson’s car off at Bridgeport and headed over to the boat ramp at Escalante Creek. After inflating and rigging our kayaks, we were on the water shortly before 8:30am.

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McCarty Bench: Escalante Canyon to Palmer Gulch

The Edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau: Dominguez Canyon Wilderness
Friday – Saturday, March 25-26, 2022

This weekend I needed to stay close to home since Diane and I had tickets to a pair of concerts in town, so I decided to do a little exploring in the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness at the edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau on Saturday morning. Since I wasn’t going to be travelling far, I stopped home for a little bit after work on Friday and then made my way over to Escalante Canyon to spend the night. After fording Escalante Creek I drove up the Escalante Rim Road and found a nice campsite right along the rim of the canyon. I arrived about an hour before sunset and was treated to a 360 degree view of the Grand Mesa, West Elks and Sneffels Range. Unfortunately, it is currently open burn season in the area, so there was a lot of smoke and haze in the air this evening. I took a couple of photos before sunset and then read for a while until I went to bed early.

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North Fork of the Gunnison River

Paonia River Park to the Gunnison Forks Recreation Site
Independence Day | Thursday, July 4, 2019

This year for the Fourth of July I was looking to go on one last river trip before I started heading into the mountains for the summer season. Since I only had one day off from work for the holiday I wanted to go somewhere close to home and on a river that was still not running too high, which was hard to find this year! On Wednesday afternoon Jackson, Chris and I decided that we would give the North Fork of the Gunnison River a try from the Paonia River Park to its confluence with the Gunnison River. The North Fork of the Gunnison is formed just below the Paonia Reservoir by the confluence of of Muddy Creek (not that Muddy Creek) and Anthracite Creek, which originates in The Raggeds of the West Elk Mountains. Since we have already floated most of the Gunnison River from Pleasure Park to Whitewater, we thought it would be nice to work our way further up the North Fork and finally check it out.

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Big Dominguez Canyon: Cactus Park to Bridgeport

Saturday & Sunday, May 18-19, 2019

This weekend we had some stuff to get done around the house but we still wanted to try and squeeze in a backpacking trip this month, so we decided to head over to the Dominguez – Escalante National Conservation Area for a quick overnighter into Big Dominguez Canyon. While I have hiked into lower Big Dominguez Canyon many times over the years, Diane had never been in this canyon before and wanted to finally check it out. We planned to do a repeat of my very first backpacking trip by starting out in Cactus Park and hiking down the canyon to Bridgeport so it wouldn’t be just another out and back hiking trip, plus I’ve wanted to redo this trip again now that I am much more experienced. After we had returned home from this trip I learned that Saturday was Colorado Public Lands Day, which I had never heard of before, so I guess it was pretty fitting that we actually stayed on public lands in Colorado this weekend instead of heading over into Utah like we usually do at this time of the year!

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Triangle Canyon: Cactus Park to the Gunnison River

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness | Ten Year Anniversary
Saturday, March 30, 2019

I spent the last two weekends hiking in the Needles District of Canyonlands and will be going back again in another week and a half, plus we had a concert to go to on Sunday evening, so this weekend we planned to stay close to home and take a little bit of a break from driving. Saturday was also the ten year anniversary of the designation of the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area through the passage of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, so we decided to celebrate the occasion by hiking down an unnamed canyon within the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness to a petroglyph panel that I first visited on a river trip back in 2012. This canyon, located just north of the more popular Dominguez Canyon, has no official name on any map that I’ve seen, so I’m simply going to refer to it as Triangle Canyon since it sits just below Triangle Mesa.

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