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Tag: moab

Exploring Desert Stone: East Canyon to Harts Draw

Tracing the Historic Route of the 1859 Macomb Expedition, Part I
Friday – Sunday, November 4-6, 2022

After being sick and stuck at home over the past two weekends I was really ready to get back outdoors again this weekend! Since I haven’t done much hiking in a couple of weeks I wanted to take it easy this weekend and thought this would be a good opportunity for me to finally start on a project that I have been thinking about doing for over a decade. That project would be to follow part of the historic route of the 1859 Macomb Expedition into the Canyonlands region. Members of a small detachment from this expedition were quite possibly the first non-native Americans to view and describe what is now Canyonlands National Park and leave written and graphic records of what they saw.

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Stillwater Canyon: The Green River in Canyonlands

Floating from Mineral Bottom to The Confluence | Average CFS: 2,590
Friday – Wednesday, September 16-21, 2022

The time had finally come! It was time for me to float the Green River through Stillwater Canyon in Canyonlands National Park and I couldn’t have been more excited! I’ve wanted to float this stretch of the river for many years now but have always put it off for other trips because I was a little concerned about making it to The Confluence in time for the Jetboat shuttle. Our float down Meander Canyon was actually kind of a test to see how easy it would be for us to make that kind of distance in our inflatable kayaks at this time of the year, and we ended up coming up short by about eleven miles on that trip. Still, I made it one of my goals to finally get into Stillwater Canyon this year and booked the Jetboat shuttle back in February. This time I added an extra day to the trip just to make sure we would have enough time to make it to The Confluence. As usual, my friends Jackson and Chris were supposed to join me on this trip, but unfortunately Chris had to back out the week before, so this time it would just be me and Jackson.

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The Green River: High Water in Labyrinth Canyon

Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom | Average CFS: 17,300
Thursday – Sunday, June 2-5, 2022

After spending a full week circling around the Colorado Plateau with Diane, then having two days at home to rest and two more days back at work, it was finally time to get back on the river! Although my friends and I had entered a couple river permit lotteries earlier in the year, none of us were successful at getting any, so instead we decided to do another float through Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River from Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom. While I typically prefer to float the Green River and Colorado River through the canyonlands region in the late summer when there are plenty of sandbars for camping on, which are some of my absolute favorite places to camp, I figured it would be interesting to see what the river was like at high water, even though I knew that it was going to be a busy place with limited campsites at this time of the year. I knew from the start that I wasn’t going to be doing much hiking and exploring on this trip, so I just planned on a relaxing float down the river with plenty of time spent in camp.

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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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Kept in The Loop at The Needles

Friday – Sunday, March 4-6, 2022

I ended up staying home last weekend because a winter storm had moved through the area during the week and dropped plenty of snow and also the temperature, so I was anxious to get back outside this weekend and thought this would be a good time to head back to The Needles once more before things start getting busy there for the spring season. Back in the late summer of 2020 when I floated the Colorado River through Meander Canyon we didn’t quite make it all the way to The Confluence like we had hoped to and ended up stopping shortly after entering The Loop. Since then I’ve wanted to get back and try exploring more of The Loop by foot and thought this weekend would be the perfect opportunity to give that a shot. As the weekend was approaching, I was keeping my eye on another storm system was that was going to be impacting the area and almost cancelled my plans again, but with conflicting forecasts I decided to take my chances and hoped that I would be able to hike around the weather this time. I’m glad I took the chance because the weather in The Needles was great for hiking and most of the storm system missed this area completely.

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