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The White Rim: Airport Tower to Monument Basin

Friday – Sunday, February 5-7, 2021

While I had an amazing time supporting Diane and Jared as they biked the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park last October, I didn’t quite have enough time on that trip to get in all the hiking that I had wanted to do because they were riding faster than I had anticipated! Since I had a backpacking trip to The Needles last spring that was cancelled because of COVID and I needed to reschedule that permit or lose in the next few months, I thought it would be nice to head back on my own to the east side of the White Rim so I could make up the hikes I had skipped out on. Last year the weather for our hike from the White Crack to The Confluence in early February was very nice, so I thought I would head back the same weekend this year, too.

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Canyons of the Paria: Lick Wash to Park Wash

Southern Utah Wanderings | Monday & Tuesday, October 5-6, 2020

After completing our loop through the Upper Paria River and Sheep Creek in the afternoon, we picked up my Jeep from near Dunham Spring and then drove into Tropic for dinner and fuel. We planned to hike Lick Wash in the morning since we wanted to make Tuesday an easier day, so after finishing up in Tropic we headed down the Skutumpah Road to find somewhere to camp closer to the trailhead. The first part of the Skutumpah Road was pretty washboarded with some deep potholes full of ‘moon dust‘ but once we got past the trailhead for Bull Valley Gorge (which has a brand new concrete bridge over the canyon) the road conditions were greatly improved and we were able to make better time. Both of us were both surprised to see a couple of low clearance sedans on the road and wondered how they made it through some of the rougher sections?

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The Upper Paria River Gorge & Sheep Creek Loop

Canyons of the Paria | Deer Creek Canyon & Lower Bull Valley Gorge
Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Monday, October 2-5, 2020

This year for our annual week-long trek into Southern Utah, Jared and I decided to spend most of our time exploring the canyons of the upper Paria River located within the Paria – Hackberry Wilderness Study Area. As usual, I left right after work on Friday afternoon and headed to the BLM Visitor Center in Cannonville where Jared and I had planned to meet up. Our timing turned out to be pretty good since he arrived about 15 minutes after me. We then we made our way over to Between the Creeks Point and found a spot to camp for the night. We quickly got our tents set up and went right to bed since it was getting pretty late.

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The Search for Goblin Gulch

Canyons of the Black Ridge: “Trailing the Ghosts and Gnomes of Goblin Gulch”
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

When Will Minor started to hunt for a small band of strayed Angora goats he little dreamed he soon would have cause to forget them. As he entered a tiny canyon he suddenly came face to face with the weirdest collection of natural forms he ever had seen. The soft white sandstone of the canyon walls was covered with faces and figures—some animal, some human, some resembling modernistic sculpture and others like nightmarish creatures which only a writer of horror fiction could conceive.

– Desert Magazine, May 1944

Last week while I was going down the rabbit hole of searching online for more information about Will Minor and the High Trail, I came across an old magazine article that was written by him called Trailing the Ghosts and Gnomes of Goblin Gulch. This article was featured in the May, 1944 issue of Desert Magazine and was about a place he found many stone faces weathered from soft white sandstone just below Black Ridge that he called Goblin Gulch. I had never heard or seen anything about this location before, but the article and photos really piqued my interest and I knew I would have to try to find this forgotten place hidden within the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness!

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The Boulder Mail Trail

Canyons of the Escalante | Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Old Boulder Mail Trail is a 15 mile trail that was originally established in 1902 as a mail route that linked the isolated towns of Escalante and Boulder Town and was traversed by pack mules twice-weekly to carry mail, medicine and occasional travelers. In 1911 a telephone line was strung between trees, rocks and poles along the route by the Forest Service to connect the ranger stations in both towns. The ranger in Boulder even let the townspeople tie in with their own lines. Some of the glass insulators can still be seen in the treetops along the trail today. The line was used until 1955 when a microwave system replaced it. When Utah Highway 12 was completed in 1940 the Boulder Mail Trail fell into disuse.

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