Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: kiva

The Twists and Turns of Salt Creek Canyon

Canyonlands National Park | Thursday – Monday, April 4-8, 2024

After a rugged hike around Navajo Mountain last year, Dave, Jared and I decided to return to a very familiar place in Canyonlands National Park for our annual spring backpacking trip this year as we started making plans to continue exploring the twists and turns of Salt Creek Canyon a few months ago. Although we have all hiked into Salt Creek many times over the years, I hadn’t been back to the middle section of the canyon since our first hike down the length of the canyon just about ten years ago, and I was looking forward to returning! I left from work on Thursday afternoon and made my way to Indian Creek Country for the evening where I found a campsite and watched a colorful sunset on the surrounding cliffs while waiting for Dave and Jared to arrive.

1 Comment

The Grandest of Gulches: Back Into Lower Grand Gulch

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 11 | Thursday – Sunday, March 21-24, 2024

This week Diane and I took Thursday and Friday off from work so we could meet up with our friend Jared and spend a couple of days backpacking into lower Grand Gulch within the Bears Ears National Monument. While this would be Diane’s first time hiking into this part of Grand Gulch, Jared and I had hiked here about nine years ago and I was really looking forward to the return visit. From the very start of the hike we could tell there was a lot of water in the canyon from recent storms and that it might have even flash flooded recently, but all that water also created a lot of quicksand and mud in the wash that significantly slowed down our progress and forced us to follow brushy deer trails across the benches in many places. The weather during the first three days of our hike was great and the nights even stayed pretty warm, we only encountered wet weather during our final night in the canyon and during the hike back out of Collins Canyon. Here are some photos taken during our four days in Grand Gulch.

2 Comments

Chapin Mesa at Mesa Verde National Park

Thursday & Friday, October 12-13, 2023

For the past year or so, Diane and I have been planning to spend an extended three-day weekend in southern Utah so we could watch the Annular Solar Eclipse that would be occurring on Saturday morning. A month or so back we found out that she would also have Thursday off from work, so I went ahead and grabbed two permits for the Square Tower House Tour at Mesa Verde National Park because it’s the only tour offered in the park this year that we had not been on before. Since we had such a great time exploring Wetherill Mesa last summer I thought it would be a great idea copy that trip and spend the entire day visiting sites and overlooks on Chapin Mesa this time, especially the ones I hadn’t been to before or just don’t remember all too well. In the end we would spend sunup to sunset on Chapin Mesa and have a pretty great day, even if it was a bit windy and chilly out!

Leave a Comment

Into the Dark: Canyons of the Dark Canyon Plateau

Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Monday, September 29 – October 2, 2023

The time had finally come to get back out into the desert on the Colorado Plateau and I was definitely ready to begin my annual trip into Southern Utah with my friend Jared. This year we decided to start out hiking and exploring a couple of canyons that cut deep into the Dark Canyon Plateau and Elk Ridge so we could continue what we had originally began during our 2021 trip around the Abajo Mountains before we were chased out of the higher country by wet and stormy weather at the time. As usual, I left from work on Friday afternoon, grabbed a quick dinner in Fruita and then drove straight through to Monticello, where I topped off my gas tank so it would last me the next couple of days in the backcountry. It had been a very windy drive, which would be just a taste of what was in store for us over the next couple of days. From Monticello I followed the Harts Draw Loop Road into Indian Creek and then headed up onto the Salt Creek Plateau where I stopped at our usual campsite in the area and waited for Jared to arrive later in the evening.

6 Comments

Thanksgiving Weekend Below the Bears Ears

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 8 | Thursday – Saturday, November 24-26, 2022

This year during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend Diane was able to get away from her clinical rotations for a little while and join me on our annual trip into the Bears Ears region. Our friend Jared was also able to meet us down there, so we all went out hiking in the canyons together. Although I had originally planned to spend all four days in the area, our cat Tellico (Rico) is having some health issues and we didn’t want to leave her home for that long, so we decided to cut the trip short by a day and come home on Saturday afternoon instead. The weather was great for hiking and we had a nice time exploring new parts of canyons we had been in before, plus we were able to revisit some other favorite places. Here are a couple photos from the weekend!

5 Comments