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Tag: fall colors

The Wedge: West Side of the Good Water Rim Trail

Halloween Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, October 30-31, 2021

This weekend Diane was able to get away from her schoolwork for the second time this month, so we decided to head on over to the San Rafael Swell for a little mountain biking on The Wedge. I’ve known about the Good Water Rim Trail for a long time and have always thought it might be fun to take my mountain bike over there to check it out, but I never got around to it before. However, now that I have a mountain bike that I actually enjoy riding and have been trying to plan a few more biking trips throughout the year, this sounded like the perfect time to finally go! We left home early on Saturday morning and made our way to The Wedge Recreation Area where we found an open campsite near the the Main Trailhead and got camp set up. After lunch we hopped on our bikes and started riding the West Side of the Good Water Rim Trail to The Wedge Overlook, which was around 8 miles long. We weren’t sure how rough and slow the trail was going to be, and since we haven’t ridden our bikes much lately we didn’t think it would be a good idea to try riding the entire loop today, which is about 15 miles long.

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The Sound of Silence: Dinosaur National Monument

An Autumn Return to Jones Hole, Island Park & Rainbow Park
Friday – Sunday, October 15-17, 2021

A little while back Diane found out that she was actually going to have this Friday off from school, and she immediately let me know that she really wanted to go to Dinosaur National Monument over this three-day weekend for her birthday, so I also took Friday off from work and planned the trip. She didn’t have anywhere specific in the park that she wanted to go, she was just looking forward to getting outside away from school for a bit, so she left all the details up to me. I thought she would enjoy an easy overnight backpacking trip along the trail into Jones Hole since it happens to be one of my favorite hikes in the park, so back in September I called and reserved one of the campsites at Ely Creek for Friday night. The last time I had hiked into Jones Hole was in the spring when everything was lush and green, so I was looking forward to checking it out in the fall. I figured we could then spend the rest of the weekend hiking a couple of trails that we had not been on yet and maybe revisit some rock art sites, too. We were certainly looking forward to spending a long weekend in Dinosaurland together!

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Blue Mountain Shadows: Beef Basin to Cedar Mesa

Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Friday, October 1-8, 2021

This year for our annual week-long trek into Southern Utah, Jared and I started out in the Beef Basin area and then we explored our way over to Cedar Mesa. It has been a while since either of us had spent much time around Beef Basin and I was also really hoping that we would be able to spend some quality time around the Dark Canyon Plateau and Elk Ridge areas along the way. The trip started out great and we found plenty of new rock art and ruin sites, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with us on the second half of this trip and we had to change our plans multiple times because of storms and slick muddy roads. At one point we even stopped to help winch a truck back onto the road that was sliding off. One of the unexpected benefits of the poor weather was that it chased us closer to the Abajo Mountains than we were originally planning to go, and they were in peak falls colors at the time! At the end of the week we found out that President Biden was restoring the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument, which was fitting since we were sitting in camp within the newly restored boundary. I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty details of this trip, so please enjoy plenty of photos from our journey below.

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Highpoint of the Grand Mesa: Crater Peak

Goodenough Reservoir Peaks: Mount Darline & Mount Hatten
Friday & Saturday, September 24-25, 2021

After spending a few days on the Green River earlier in the week, I would be leaving for a full week of exploration on the Colorado Plateau this upcoming Friday, so this weekend would be my last opportunity to get into the high country for some peak-bagging to finish off the summer season. I needed this to be a quick trip near home so I could be back by Saturday afternoon to start preparing for the upcoming trip to southern Utah next week, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to hike to the highest point on the Grand Mesa. Although I have already hiked to the old fire lookout on Leon Peak (11,236), which is the highest point in Mesa County and located on the Grand Mesa, Crater Peak (11,327) in Delta County is actually the highest point on the Grand Mesa.

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Surprise Canyon & Headquarters Canyon

Canyons of the Waterpocket Fold | Southern Utah Wanderings
Friday & Saturday, October 9-10, 2020

While Jared and I had an early dinner in Tropic on Friday evening after hiking through Lower Hackberry Canyon earlier in the day, we discussed our plans for the remainder of the evening and for Saturday. We already knew that Saturday was going to be our last day of the trip since we both needed to get home to get ready for the upcoming week and the following weekend, but we really had no other plans at this point. I suggested that we should head over to the Burr Trail to find a campsite for the night and then we could spend a few hours hiking in Capitol Reef National Park on Saturday morning before heading back home. We decided this sounded like a good plan since it would help cut down some of our drive time back home on Saturday, so after we were done eating we headed in that direction. I guess we would be finishing our week-long trip into Southern Utah at Capitol Reef again, just like last year!

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