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Tag: la sal mountains

Drifting Around Indian Creek Country

Friday – Sunday, January 8-10, 2021

After spending the first long weekend of 2021 along Comb Ridge with Diane, I was on my own this weekend since Diane has now started PA school and just had LASIK surgery on Thursday, and needed to rest her eyes for a few days. As many of you are probably aware of by now, the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park is one of my absolute favorite places to explore, so earlier in the week when I was deciding which area to go to on my first camping trip of the year, it was an easy decision for me to head that direction. This time I decided to mostly stay out of the heart of the The Needles and planned to spend more time along Indian Creek just outside of the park. I left after work on Friday, topped off my fuel tank in Moab and then finished the drive down along Indian Creek to a familiar campsite I have spent many nights at before. I then spent the rest of the weekend drifting through Indian Creek Country from South Six-Shooter Peak to Davis Canyon with a couple scattered petroglyph panels along the way.

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The Intrepid Trails at Dead Horse Point State Park

Saturday & Sunday, December 5-6, 2020

Since Diane and I both got new mountain bikes within the past couple of months and I am actually enjoying riding the new bike I got so far, I thought it would be fun to reserve a yurt at Dead Horse Point State Park for the weekend so we could check out the Intrepid Mountain Bike Trails since they are supposed to be on the easy side and we are still both pretty new to this. Also, since we enjoyed our stay in a yurt at Goblin Valley State Park last winter, I was interested in doing it again and spending more quality time exploring another of Utah’s State Parks since all of my previous visits to Dead Horse Point have been quick visits at sunrise for photos. When I booked the yurt back in October I knew that I was taking a chance on the weather, especially since we wanted to mountain bike. In early December there could be a foot of snow from a recent winter storm up here, or it could be beautiful sunny weather in the 50’s during the day. Thankfully we got lucky this weekend and had pretty great conditions for this time of the year. The highs were in the upper 40’s with a lot of sunshine and the lows were only in the low 30’s, which was even warmer than our Thanksgiving trip to Cedar Mesa last weekend. Of course, the lows at night didn’t really matter much to us since we were staying in a heated yurt.

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Hatch Point: The Other Island in the Sky

Halloween Weekend Exploring the Canyon Rims Recreation Area Under a Blue Hunter’s Moon
Friday – Sunday, October 31 – November 1, 2020

Talk about a stacked weekend! Not only was it Halloween on Saturday, but there was also going to be a Blue Moon along with the Daylight Savings Time change overnight, and I knew that I definitely wanted to spend this weekend exploring the Canyonlands region some more. Aside from a brief but amazing evening at the Needles Overlook in January, it’s been a while since I spent any real time in the Canyon Rims Recreation Area and I thought that it would be fun to spend a full weekend exploring Hatch Point again. Aside from a couple of semi-popular overlooks, I feel like this area which is located just to the east of Canyonlands National Park gets overlooked and I would like to see more of it!

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Roads That Don’t End and Views That Never Cease

Diane’s Birthday Ride on the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park
Saturday – Monday, October 17-19, 2020

Earlier this year Diane told me that she wanted to mountain bike the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park for her birthday in October. I told her I would try to make it happen, but that it would depend if I could get permits or not since they can be hard to get for that time of the year. Although I really have no desire to bike the White Rim Trail myself, I knew that I would be perfectly happy to carry all of the gear in my Jeep for the trip as it’s been a while since I drove around the entire White Rim. Earlier this year and late last year I had driven in part of the way from both ends of the White Rim Road, but the last time I drove the entire route was to celebrate Canyonlands 50th Birthday in 2014, so I was looking forward to getting back out and doing it again. This trip would also be a good opportunity for me to take it slow and make this a nice easy and relaxing trip where I could stop and go on a few obscure hikes along the way.

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Middle La Sal Peak: Mount Mellenthin

La Sal Mountains Peak Bagging | South Mountain from Medicine Lakes
Friday – Sunday, July 10-12, 2020

This weekend I continued my annual tradition of spending an early summer weekend peak-bagging in the La Sal Mountains near Moab. Usually I try to make this my first peak-bagging trip of the season, but this year that honor goes to Trappers Peak in the Flat Tops. Since I have now hiked all of the popular peaks in the La Sal Mountains, it is time to get started on the more obscure ones, and this trip I thought it was finally time I went for Mount Mellenthin, also known as Middle La Sal Peak, which is the second tallest peak in the La Sals after Mount Peale. I was originally planning to hike Mount Mellenthin after floating the Moab Daily a couple of weeks ago, but I had to cancel those plans when I came down with some sort of allergic reaction after getting off the river. I was looking forward to getting back into the La Sals this weekend, especially since there was a heat wave in the area and I hoped to stay cool at higher elevations!

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