Tracing the Historic Route of the 1859 Macomb Expedition, Part II
Friday – Sunday, October 27-29, 2023
It’s now been almost an entire year since I started my quest to follow and explore the historic route of the 1859 Macomb Expedition, also known as the San Juan Exploring Expedition, which contained a small detachment of men who were quite possibly the first non-native Americans to view and describe what is now Canyonlands National Park. During that trip I followed the Old Spanish Trail across Dry Valley from Cañon Pintado (East Canyon) to Casa Colorado and then steadily climbed up Hatch Point until I was at the edge of the rim overlooking Cañon Colorado (Harts Draw) and the greater Canyonlands region. That point was roughly in the same area where Captain Macomb and his men would have had their first view of the region that would later become known as The Needles and where they would most likely have begun their descent to the canyons below in search of The Confluence of the Green and Grand Rivers. This weekend I set out to continue following their historic route as it descended from the rim of Hatch Point into Harts Draw and then I would continue downstream into Labyrinth Cañon (Indian Creek Canyon). Although I had hoped to follow the route segments in order, except that I had planned to start hiking from the bottom of Harts Draw up to the rim since I thought route-finding would be easier in that direction, but stormy weather on Saturday altered my plans a bit and I ended up hiking the segments out of order.