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Tag: la sal mountains

Christmas in Arches 2023

Moab Winter Weekend | Saturday – Monday, December 23-25, 2023

After spending last weekend exploring the sandstone fins on the east side of the Colorado River in the Sand Flats Recreation Area, it was time for me to head over to Arches National Park for the extended Christmas weekend. While I usually only spend Christmas Day in Arches and then bounce around the desert canyons surrounding Moab for the rest of the holiday weekend, this year I wanted to spend the entire three days within the park. Unfortunately, Diane would not be joining me this year since she was scheduled to work all weekend and on the holiday, so I would be on my own. I left home early on Saturday morning and drove straight to Arches National Park through a consistent rain the entire way with some fog in the lower lying areas.

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Moab Meanderings: Sand Flats Recreation Area

Saturday & Sunday, December 16-17, 2023

Since the winter season has arrived in Moab, I decided to return to the Sand Flats Recreation Area this weekend so I could finish hiking the popular Slickrock Bike Trail just outside of town. After watching one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen from the Needles Overlook in early 2020, I had hiked about half of the Slickrock Trail’s eastern side but I wasn’t able to complete the full loop that day because there was just too much snow on the steep slopes of the undulating trail that made it dangerous and hard to follow. I figured this would also be a good opportunity to just spend the entire weekend within Sand Flats so I could continue hiking some of the trails in the area that I had not been on before and spend the night in one of the camp loops. It sounded like a good enough plan to me, so I left home early on Saturday morning and made my way over to Moab.

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The Rim Trails at Dead Horse Point State Park

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Although I originally had a different and more local trip planned for this weekend, which I’ll hopefully be able to get back to in early December, the weather forecast made me reconsider those plans on Friday since it was predicted to start raining on Saturday afternoon and continue all through Sunday. With a partly cloudy sky in the forecast for Saturday morning I decided to get up early and head on over to Dead Horse Point State Park where I would hopefully be able to catch a nice sunrise from the main overlook and then could spend the rest of the morning hiking the remainder of the trails in the park that I had not been on before, which consisted of a loop of the East Rim Trail and the West Rim Trail along with a couple of shorter spur trails leading to overlooks along the way. A few years back Diane and I had spent a nice weekend mountain biking all of the Intrepid Trails in the park and I’ve been meaning to get back to finish up the hiking trails, so I’ve been looking forward to a return visit.

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Exploring Desert Stone: Harts Draw to Indian Creek

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.

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The Colorado River: Cisco Landing to Hittle Bottom

Average CFS Above the Dolores River: 26,278  //  Below the Dolores River: 32,500
Sunday, May 14, 2023

After spending five days on the Yampa River last week and then yesterday morning hiking in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison it was time for Jackson and I to get back out on the river again for a short day trip. Today we planned to float a section of the Colorado River that we had not been on before, starting from Cisco Landing and taking out at Hittle Bottom. With the water level around 30,000 CFS we knew the river was going to be high and fast, and figured that we would make it through this section of the river pretty quickly. We were right since we ended up floating all 23 miles in just about four hours and made it home by the early afternoon!

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