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Tag: navajo point

Beyond the Clay Hills: The Annular Solar Eclipse

Watching the Great Western Ring of Fire Eclipse from Nokai Dome
Friday – Sunday, October 13-15, 2023

After spending an amazing Thursday on Chapin Mesa in Mesa Verde National Park and then briefly stopping to visit Yucca House National Monument early on Friday morning, it was time to drive across the Great Sage Plain into Utah and then head even further west until we crossed Beyond the Clay Hills where we found a great camping spot atop Nokai Dome, which would be a perfect place to sit and watch the Great Western Ring of Fire Eclipse on Saturday morning. I had specifically chosen this remote corner of the Red Rock Plateau to view the Annular Solar Eclipse because it’s kind of out-of-the way and I hoped that we would be able to find plenty of solitude. It’s also a part of the Colorado Plateau that I really haven’t spent much time at and I’m hoping to change that and get a little more familiar with this corner of San Juan County. I really don’t think I could have picked a much better spot to watch the eclipse from since we were very close to the centerline of its path and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anyone else around for miles. I should also mention that the views in all directions from Nokai Dome were pretty spectacular!

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Rainbow Bridge: Circumnavigation of Navajo Mountain

The Canyons of Navajo Mountain & Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Wednesday – Monday, March 15-20, 2023

This year for our annual spring backpacking trip, Jared, Dave and I were planning to spend an easy four days and three nights hiking down Paria Canyon from the White House Trailhead to Lees Ferry. It’s a trip we have all wanted to do for a long time and were looking forward to, but back in December when I reserved the permit we had no idea what the atmospheric river would have in store for us this winter! A couple of days before our trip was set to begin there was a large flash flood in Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River that unfortunately killed two hikers and resulted in the rescue of about a dozen more. With reports of deep cold water crossings and continued precipitation and cold air temperatures in the forecast, we decided that this was probably not the right time for this hike and started considering different options. Since I try to be prepared, I already had a backup plan to hike around Navajo Mountain to Rainbow Bridge ready to go in case the weather did not cooperate with us on this Paria Canyon hike, so we decided to try that one instead.

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Fiftymile Point to Davis Gulch & The Hole-in-the-Rock

Canyons of the Escalante | Southern Utah Wanderings
Wednesday – Friday, October 5-7, 2022

After spending the last day and a half along the western end of the Vermilion Cliffs we headed back over the Paunsaugunt Plateau and returned to Escalante early on Wednesday afternoon. While we were in town we grabbed some dinner and topped off our fuel tanks before heading southeast down the Hole-in-the-Rock Road below the Straight Cliffs. Surprisingly, the road was in better condition than we were expecting and we made great time to the Davis Gulch Trailhead located just below Fiftymile Point. We still had plenty of time until sunset, so we decided to continue on to the very end of the road so we could maybe hike down the Hole-in-the-Rock to Lake Powell. I hadn’t been out to the end of the Hole-in-the-Rock Road since 2009, so it was nice to refresh my memory of the area.

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Cedar Breaks: Ashdown Gorge & Rattlesnake Creek

Ashdown Gorge Wilderness & Cedar Breaks National Monument
Friday – Sunday, June 4-6, 2021

After spending last weekend wandering around the Book Cliffs, it was time to head back into Utah for one more trip before I start spending most of my time in the mountains of Colorado. It was supposed to be another hot and windy weekend across the Colorado Plateau, so I thought this would be a good time to finally hike through Ashdown Gorge near Cedar City. This hike has been on my to-do list for over ten years now, so it was time to finally do it! Last year I had tentatively planned an overnight backpacking trip through Ashdown Gorge in the early summer with Diane and Jared, but thanks again to COVID-19, those plans were cancelled. Since Diane is now too busy with school, it would just be me and Jared going, and since the hike is not too long and mostly downhill we decided to skip the backpacking this time around and just do it as a day hike.

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