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Tag: glen canyon national recreation area

Big Water in Cataract Canyon: The Colorado River

Utah’s Biggest Whitewater in Canyonlands National Park | Average CFS: 31,500
Friday – Sunday, May 31 – June 2, 2024

As many of you already know, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time exploring, hiking, backpacking, Jeeping and floating the rivers within Canyonlands National Park over the years. However, Cataract Canyon has been the one section of the Colorado River in Canyonlands that has eluded me over that time. Since there’s a pretty good chance I might never have the opportunity to navigate the large rapids of Cataract Canyon on a private river trip, I figured this would probably be a good place to try out a commercial river trip for the first time and see how it goes. So late last year I booked a 3-day motorized trip with Mild To Wild Rafting and then my friend Jackson did the same for his family so we could go on the trip together. Since we would be in a large raft with an experienced guide on this trip instead of in our little inflatable kayaks, we tried to time the trip to coincide with the highest water of the year that typically happens during spring runoff in late May and early June, and I think we ended up doing a pretty good job on the timing.

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Under The Ledge: Waterhole Flat to Teapot Canyon

Friday – Sunday, November 3-5, 2023

This weekend I headed back into the country Under the Ledge for the second time this year so I could finally stay at the Teapot Rock campsite, which is located along the road to The Doll House just before it starts to get rough. Although I have tried to book this camp during previous trips into the region, it always seemed to have been unavailable and never worked out for me, but since it’s the final campsite in the Maze District that I had not stayed at yet, I figured it was worth putting together a special trip to finally make it happen this year. A couple of months ago I booked the site for two nights so I could spend an extended weekend exploring the canyons in the area and I invited my friend Jared along to join me. So now after this weekend, besides having hiked all of the trails in Canyonlands National Park, I have finally completed my goal of staying at all of the designated campsites within the Maze District and Orange Cliffs Unit of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area!

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The Sculptured Earth: End of Trails in The Maze

Lost in The Maze III | Friday – Monday, March 31 – April 3, 2023

After spending the past couple years working to hike all of the trails in Canyonlands National Park and completing the ones in The Needles and Island in the Sky districts in 2018 and 2019, I turned my attention to my remaining trails in The Maze, but it’s taken me a bit longer to hike them all since it’s not quite as easy to get over there for a quick weekend trip. Last spring I had hiked most of the remaining trails from the Land of Standing Rocks with my friends Dave and Jared, but we did not have the time to make it down into lower Horse Canyon on that trip, which was now my only trail left on this official map that I’ve been using to keep track, and also my final trail left in all of Canyonlands! After that trip I made it my goal to hike into lower Horse Canyon this spring, so I booked a backpacking permit back in November and invited my friend Jackson to come along.

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Rainbow Bridge: Circumnavigation of Navajo Mountain

The Canyons of Navajo Mountain & Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Wednesday – Monday, March 15-20, 2023

This year for our annual spring backpacking trip, Jared, Dave and I were planning to spend an easy four days and three nights hiking down Paria Canyon from the White House Trailhead to Lees Ferry. It’s a trip we have all wanted to do for a long time and were looking forward to, but back in December when I reserved the permit we had no idea what the atmospheric river would have in store for us this winter! A couple of days before our trip was set to begin there was a large flash flood in Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River that unfortunately killed two hikers and resulted in the rescue of about a dozen more. With reports of deep cold water crossings and continued precipitation and cold air temperatures in the forecast, we decided that this was probably not the right time for this hike and started considering different options. Since I try to be prepared, I already had a backup plan to hike around Navajo Mountain to Rainbow Bridge ready to go in case the weather did not cooperate with us on this Paria Canyon hike, so we decided to try that one instead.

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Exploring the Cane Spring Desert & Ticaboo Mesa

Hiking Smith Fork and a South Fork of Ticaboo Creek
Friday – Sunday, November 18-20, 2022

Last week I was having some rare troubles deciding where to go this weekend. I was going back and forth between heading over to the San Rafael Swell or the Labyrinth Rims, but when I couldn’t make up my mind I decided it was time to go somewhere completely new to me and see what I could find. Although I have driven through the small community of Ticaboo only a handful of times, including once earlier this year, I have never actually stopped to hike or explore this area before and thought that this would be a great place to finally check out, especially since I’ve already been exploring the canyons of Trachyte Creek on the other side of the Little Rockies these past couple of years. After work on Friday I headed west into Utah with a quick stop for gas in Hanksville and then drove through the Henry Mountains and found a campsite in the Cane Spring Desert in the dark.

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