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Final Trails in Dinosaur National Monument

Friday – Sunday, April 29 – May 1, 2022

It has been almost exactly one year since I started working towards my goal of finishing all of the ‘official trails‘ within Dinosaur National Monument that I had not hiked yet, and this weekend I planned to head back so I could finally complete it. Although the two trails left on my list probably wouldn’t be considered official trails by most people, I guess I’m a completist when it comes to hiking and thought they were important enough to be included. Plus, they would bring me into new parts of the park I had not explored yet, which is always an added bonus. However, they each also happened to be located on completely opposite ends of the park, so I’d have to cover a lot of ground this weekend! I left a little early from work on Friday afternoon and drove over Douglas Pass as I made my way to Island Park on the Utah side of Dinosaurland to get my weekend started.

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Salt Wash: Lost Spring Canyon to Cordova Canyon

Arches National Park | Saturday, April 23, 2022

Recently I realized that it’s been a while since I last explored the backcountry of Arches National Park and I was definitely overdue for a return. After a winter hike down Lower Salt Wash Canyon a couple years ago I’ve been interested in exploring the upper reaches of Salt Wash and a recent Trip Report from Dennis finally gave me the motivation I needed to get back out to that area. I was all set to leave after work on Friday afternoon like I usually do, but a storm system was moving through the area with very strong winds and rain, so I decided to stay home overnight and then leave early in the morning since I wasn’t travelling far from home this weekend. After a good night of sleep I woke up early on Saturday morning, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed west into Utah.

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Roubideau Creek in the Camel Back Wilderness

The Edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau | Friday & Saturday, April 15-16, 2022

This weekend I needed to stay closer to home to get some work done on my Jeep and around the house, so I turned my attention to the Camel Back Wilderness Study Area at edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau between Delta and Montrose. Last spring I had planned to hike up Roubideau Creek after visiting the Devil’s Thumb, but the water was just too high at the time, so I thought I would give that hike another try on Saturday morning. After leaving work on Friday afternoon I drove to Delta and then followed some Jeep roads to the rim of Roubideau Canyon across from the Camel Back and watched the sunset. Besides having a great view over the canyon, I could also see the Grand Mesa, West Elks and Sneffels Range on the horizons from my vantage point.

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Under The Ledge: Trails in the Land of Standing Rocks

Lost In The Maze II | Wednesday – Sunday, April 6-10, 2022

I can hardly believe it’s been just over four years since my last visit to the Land of Standing Rocks in Canyonlands National Park. It feels like it was just yesterday when Diane and I were heading out to The Maze over the long Memorial Day weekend each spring, and I’ve recently had a strong desire to return. After completing all the trails in The Needles and the Island in the Sky in 2018 and 2019, The Maze is the only remaining district of Canyonlands where I have not hiked every official trail on the map, so I figured it was time to head back and continue working on completing that personal goal. That’s part of the reason I hiked down the North Trail late last year. So back in early November I got on Rec.gov and booked couple campsites in the Land of Standing Rocks, two nights at Chimney Rock and two nights at The Wall, which seemed like a good place to basecamp for the trails that I wanted to hike this time. My friend Jerry, Jared and Dave were going to be joining me on this trip, but unfortunately Jerry got sick just before the trip started and was unable to make it this time.

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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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