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Tag: new years day

Backbone of the Earth: Comb Ridge

New Years Weekend | Friday – Sunday, January 1-3, 2021

After spending Christmas Weekend around Moab I really didn’t have any solid plans set for the New Year holiday weekend. Diane definitely wanted us to get outside over the first weekend of the New Year since she is going to be starting Physician Assistant school on Monday and her free time will most likely be pretty limited over the next two years, so she probably won’t be able to join me on as many trips as she usually does. After following the weather forecast during the week and weighing our options we made a last-minute decision to spend the long holiday weekend hiking and exploring Comb Ridge in southern Utah for our first trip of 2021. Although we had made it to Cedar Mesa a couple of times last year, we never spent any time on The Comb, so we were looking forward to getting back there. As a matter of fact, I think it’s been quite a while since I dedicated a whole trip just to exploring Comb Ridge, so we were long overdue! Enjoy my photos from the weekend and my first Trip Report of 2021!

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Ringing In A New Decade: Wedding Canyon Loop

First Day Hikes: Colorado National Monument
Wednesday, January 1, 2020

As per our annual New Years Day tradition, Diane and I went to bed well before midnight on New Years Eve so we could get up early for our first hike of 2020 on the Wedding Canyon Loop in the Colorado National Monument. We arrived at the trailhead shortly before sunrise but the sky was pretty much overcast and we would not see any sunlight during our entire hike. When I checked the weather forecast the night before there was a winter storm that was supposed to move into the area later in the day, but it apparently got here early since it started to snow on us just as soon as we entered the mouth of Wedding Canyon and it continued to snow throughout the rest of our hike. We didn’t mind though, since it was fun to hike through the falling snow and I really liked the way the fresh snow clung to the sandstone boulders and canyon walls. It’s always nice to see a familiar landscape in different conditions. We didn’t run into anyone else on the trail until we were on our way back down Monument Canyon where we passed about a half-dozen hikers coming up the canyon. Hiking this loop trail is always a great way to start a new year no matter what the weather does!

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Return To Silence: Delicate Arch

New Year’s Day | Tuesday, January 1, 2019

To be honest, I never thought I would be visiting Delicate Arch in Arches National Park ever again since it’s become a very busy place over the past few years. However, there was a perfect storm of events that allowed Diane and I to watch the first sunset of 2019 at Delicate Arch with our friend Jared and absolutely no one else around! When I saw that the road into Arches National Park was closed on Monday morning because of a snowstorm and there was no money to plow and maintain it because of the government shutdown, I knew instantly that I needed to try and get to Delicate Arch for sunset on New Year’s Day if it didn’t open back up before then!

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Wedding Canyon Loop 2018

New Year’s Day | Monday, January 1, 2018

After going on my last hike of 2017 the previous day, it was now time for me to go on my very first hike of 2018! I woke up early on Monday morning and drove over to the Lower Monument Canyon Trailhead in the Colorado National Monument so I could hike the Wedding Canyon Loop. This is one of my favorite hikes in the Monument and one I recommend to anyone who asks me about hiking in the area. Hiking this loop on New year’s Day has become somewhat of a tradition for me the past couple of years, and I wanted to keep that up. Plus, it’s just a great way to start off the new year close to home!

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Circling The Island

New Year’s Day | Sunday, January 1, 2017
Wedding Canyon Loop 2017

On New Year’s Day Diane and I were up before sunrise to go on our first hike of 2017 in the Colorado National Monument. As usual, we returned to the Wedding Canyon Loop which makes a complete loop around The Island. We went to bed early on New Year’s Eve so we would have no problems getting up for the hike, although we were awoken by fireworks at midnight, and made it to the Monument Canyon Trailhead just before sunrise. We typically hike this loop in a counter-clockwise direction because I prefer to climb the steeper trail in Wedding Canyon and then descend the more gradual trail in Monument Canyon. There was plenty of snow and ice on the trail in Wedding Canyon, but we never had to put on our microspikes this time. As we ascended Wedding Canyon we were treated to a very nice sunrise, but as soon as we reached Independence Monument at the middle of the loop more clouds moved in and blocked the sun for the remainder of the hike back down. We completed the five mile loop in just over two hours and were off the trail before the ground could thaw out and turn into mud.

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