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Tag: needles district

The Twists and Turns of Salt Creek Canyon

Canyonlands National Park | Thursday – Monday, April 4-8, 2024

After a rugged hike around Navajo Mountain last year, Dave, Jared and I decided to return to a very familiar place in Canyonlands National Park for our annual spring backpacking trip this year as we started making plans to continue exploring the twists and turns of Salt Creek Canyon a few months ago. Although we have all hiked into Salt Creek many times over the years, I hadn’t been back to the middle section of the canyon since our first hike down the length of the canyon just about ten years ago, and I was looking forward to returning! I left from work on Thursday afternoon and made my way to Indian Creek Country for the evening where I found a campsite and watched a colorful sunset on the surrounding cliffs while waiting for Dave and Jared to arrive.

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Drifting Around Indian Creek Country III

Friday – Sunday, January 26-28, 2024

January has kind of been off to a rough start for me and I was really feeling the need to get away for the weekend alone and in a place that I am familiar with and comfortable in; a place that feels like home. So I decided to spend the weekend hiking and camping in Indian Creek Country, which has been one of my favorite places to explore the past couple of years, especially in the winter when there aren’t many other people around. Anyways, if you saw my post from earlier this month, you might have noticed that my Jeep has been out of commission for a few weeks by now, and the good news is that I finally got it back from being repaired earlier this week. One of the camshafts in the engine needed to be replaced, which had been on backorder for a little while, and thankfully the powertrain of my Jeep was still just barely under warranty. Since I had already paid for a rental car through this upcoming Monday, I figured I would leave the Jeep home and take the rental Ford Explorer out this weekend instead. I left from work on Friday afternoon and made my way south through Moab and down the Indian Creek Corridor, where I found a campsite along the road to Lockhart Basin just after sunset. I then spent the remainder of the weekend just wandering around the canyon country to see what I would find along the way. Below are some photos from my wanderings this weekend.

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Realm of Rock: Elephant Hill to The Grabens

A Last Minute Trip into The Needles | Friday – Sunday, October 14-16, 2022

This weekend Jackson and I had made plans to go camping and hiking together but we were having trouble deciding where to go and running out of time, especially during this busy Fall Break weekend in southern Utah. On a whim Thursday afternoon we looked to see what campsites were still available in Canyonlands National Park and found that the New Bates Wilson site was open, so I booked it and quickly made last minute plans for us to head into The Needles. To get to the New Bates Wilson campsite we would have to drive over Elephant Hill, so this would also be a great opportunity for me to finally get my new Jeep on a real trail.

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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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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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