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Weekend Wandering Along the Waterpocket Fold

Canyons of the Waterpocket Fold | Another Birthday Weekend in Capitol Reef National Park
President’s Day Weekend | Friday – Monday, February 12-15, 2021

I guess you could say I have a love for exploring the long sandstone monoclines that are found on the Colorado Plateau. I’ve already spent some quality time along Comb Ridge and the San Rafael Reef this year, so I figured it was about time I got back to the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park. Aside from last year, I typically spend the three-day holiday weekend after my birthday in Capitol Reef, so this seemed like the perfect time to get back again this year! I left straight from work on Friday afternoon and headed west into Utah. The sunset was looking like it was going to be good shortly after I passed through Green River, so I turned off onto the Old Highway 24 between the San Rafael River and Green River to take a few photos.

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The Upper Paria River Gorge & Sheep Creek Loop

Canyons of the Paria | Deer Creek Canyon & Lower Bull Valley Gorge
Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Monday, October 2-5, 2020

This year for our annual week-long trek into Southern Utah, Jared and I decided to spend most of our time exploring the canyons of the upper Paria River located within the Paria – Hackberry Wilderness Study Area. As usual, I left right after work on Friday afternoon and headed to the BLM Visitor Center in Cannonville where Jared and I had planned to meet up. Our timing turned out to be pretty good since he arrived about 15 minutes after me. We then we made our way over to Between the Creeks Point and found a spot to camp for the night. We quickly got our tents set up and went right to bed since it was getting pretty late.

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Little Cone: The Other Cone

Friday & Saturday, September 11-12, 2020

After spending the end of last week on a road trip driving Across the Great Basin and Back, this weekend it was time to get back to hiking in the mountains of Colorado since the season will be ending for me very soon. After climbing Lone Cone a couple years back and Groundhog Mountain earlier this summer, I thought it was time to tackle Little Cone which is another isolated mountain that is located at the western edge of the western San Juan Mountains and sits just to the north of Middle and Dolores Peaks. Although this solitary 11er stands out when you are in the area, I don’t believe the summit sees too many visitors because access is tricky since this mountain is almost completely surrounded by private property. If it weren’t for just one narrow strip of public National Forest land, it would be impossible to climb this peak without permission from a landowner. Luckily that one little strip of land is all I needed to make it to the summit!

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The Kokopelli Trail to Salt Creek

McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

This evening Diane and I headed over to the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area near Rabbit Valley so we could spend the evening hiking a short section of the Kokopelli Trail. Although I have driven, hiked and even biked much of the Kokopelli Trail over the years, there are still a few sections of singletrack that I have missed. Today I thought it would be fun to hike one of those sections which descends down to Salt Creek from near the end of the Sidewinder Road on the west side. The trail then crosses a bridge over Salt Creek and connects up to the Troy Built Trail on the other side of the canyon.

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Leap Day at Swasey’s Leap

Leap Day | Saturday & Sunday, February 29 – March 1, 2020

This year Leap Day (February 29th) happened to fall on a weekend, so I thought it would be fitting to finally get out to Swasey’s Leap in the San Rafael Swell to celebrate. Swasey’s Leap (sometimes spelled Swazys) is a narrow part of the canyon near the beginning of the Lower Black Box of the San Rafael River that is only about 14 feet wide and 50 feet deep. The lore associated with Swasey’s Leap is that back in the late 1800’s Sid and Charley Swasey made a wager about Sid’s horse jumping the narrow gap at the top of the canyon. Sid said his horse could make it while Charley wagered his herd of cattle that he couldn’t. In the end Sid made the leap and won the cattle from his brother. From then on, this spot has been known as Swasey’s Leap or Sid’s Leap. Later, a sheepherder named Paul Hansen built a bridge over the gap made of cottonwood logs and an old wagon box, but this old bridge collapsed and fell into the river sometime in 1997. While I have driven out to the end of the Swasey’s Leap Road once before, I never actually hiked out to Swasey’s Leap, so I was looking forward to finally checking it out this weekend!

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