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Tag: slot canyon

Back to the Mojave: The Pahranagat Valley

Rock Art of the Basin and Range National Monument II
Thursday – Monday, January 15-18, 2021

Even though my heart belongs to the Colorado Plateau, I do occasionally like to get out to the Mojave Desert at least once each year, especially during the colder months at home! Back at the beginning of last year I had started making plans to return to Death Valley National Park this holiday weekend, but since COVID is hitting California hard right now and they are asking for out-of-state visitors to stay away, I honored their request and decided to visit the Pahranagat Valley in Nevada instead. I got my first taste of the Pahranagat Valley on my way home from the White Mountains in September, but it was much too hot out for me at the time, so I vowed to return in cooler temperatures. I didn’t think I would be coming back so soon, but I was looking forward to returning again so I could explore this large valley where the northern Mojave Desert and the Great Basin intersect!

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Upper Eardley Canyon from Cliff Dweller Flat

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Since our planned trip to the Esplanade with Jerry this week had already been cancelled, Diane and I now had a free weekend to get out hiking together again. We decided to stay closer to home and check out some new canyons in the San Rafael Swell. Earlier in the year I had planned for us to hike into upper Eardley Canyon during our Leap Day weekend trip, but the roads were too wet and muddy in the area at the time, so we ended up skipping it and heading home early. I thought that would be a good place to start this weekend, so we left home Saturday morning and made our way through the San Rafael Reef to the end of Cliff Dweller Flat where we started our hike and planned to spend the night afterwards.

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Roads That Don’t End and Views That Never Cease

Diane’s Birthday Ride on the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park
Saturday – Monday, October 17-19, 2020

Earlier this year Diane told me that she wanted to mountain bike the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park for her birthday in October. I told her I would try to make it happen, but that it would depend if I could get permits or not since they can be hard to get for that time of the year. Although I really have no desire to bike the White Rim Trail myself, I knew that I would be perfectly happy to carry all of the gear in my Jeep for the trip as it’s been a while since I drove around the entire White Rim. Earlier this year and late last year I had driven in part of the way from both ends of the White Rim Road, but the last time I drove the entire route was to celebrate Canyonlands 50th Birthday in 2014, so I was looking forward to getting back out and doing it again. This trip would also be a good opportunity for me to take it slow and make this a nice easy and relaxing trip where I could stop and go on a few obscure hikes along the way.

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Surprise Canyon & Headquarters Canyon

Canyons of the Waterpocket Fold | Southern Utah Wanderings
Friday & Saturday, October 9-10, 2020

While Jared and I had an early dinner in Tropic on Friday evening after hiking through Lower Hackberry Canyon earlier in the day, we discussed our plans for the remainder of the evening and for Saturday. We already knew that Saturday was going to be our last day of the trip since we both needed to get home to get ready for the upcoming week and the following weekend, but we really had no other plans at this point. I suggested that we should head over to the Burr Trail to find a campsite for the night and then we could spend a few hours hiking in Capitol Reef National Park on Saturday morning before heading back home. We decided this sounded like a good plan since it would help cut down some of our drive time back home on Saturday, so after we were done eating we headed in that direction. I guess we would be finishing our week-long trip into Southern Utah at Capitol Reef again, just like last year!

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Cottonwood Narrows & The Paria Box

Canyons of the Paria | Southern Utah Wanderings
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Over the years I’ve driven down the Cottonwood Road along The Cockscomb many times and have always skipped stopping at the Cottonwood Narrows along the way since I was usually on my way elsewhere and most likely in a hurry. However, after visiting the Paradise Slot in the morning and then returning to the Cottonwood Road, Jared and I both decided that it was finally time to stop and check out the Cottonwood Narrows! I have to wonder why I’ve never stopped here sooner because this narrow canyon was very nice with easy access, too. It’s no wonder that it’s such a popular place! There’s really not much else to say about this hike, so here are a bunch of photos I took as we hiked from the northern trailhead to the southern trailhead and then back again. It was a great little hike through this narrow section of Cottonwood Creek!

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