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La Sal Mountains: Horse Mountain & Grand View

Friday & Saturday, July 9-10, 2021

This weekend I was finally going to my first concert in over a year on Saturday evening so I needed to stay close to home, but I still hoped to squeeze in a hike to the summit of a peak or two on Saturday morning. Since the Pack Creek Fire near Moab was finally contained and the La Sal Mountains were opening back up, I thought this would be a good time for me to head that direction for a quick overnight trip. When I left from work on Friday afternoon it was a blistering 106 degrees out and I would later find out that Grand Junction had set the all-time high temperature record of 107 degrees while I was driving into Utah. The thermometer on my Jeep registered 112 degrees as I passed by the Fisher Towers– it’s certainly been a hot week on the Colorado Plateau! After driving through Castle Valley to the La Sal Mountains Loop Road I followed the narrow and bumpy road up into Miners Basin and spent the rest of the evening around the small lake near the trailhead. It was still a bit warm up in Miners Basin when I arrived, but it cooled off nicely as the sun went down for the night.

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The Flat Tops: Above & Below the Chinese Wall

Chinese Wall Trail to Lost Lakes Peaks & Skinny Fish Basin
Friday – Sunday, June 18-20, 2021

After spending last weekend on the San Miguel River and then in the Lizard Head Wilderness, I was looking forward to spending some more time in the high country to get away from these 100 degree days in the Grand Valley. Originally, I was planning to hike in the La Sal Mountains this weekend, since that’s where I usually kick off my peak-bagging season, but with the Pack Creek Fire burning in the area I decided it would be best to stay clear of that area for now. For the past couple of years I’ve also been trying to go on an early season trip into the Flat Tops, so I thought I would go ahead and do that this weekend instead. I’ve always wanted to hike to the top of the Chinese Wall, so I figured I could do that and visit the summits of the Lost Lakes Peaks while I was up there.

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Cross Mountain Trail to Lizard Head

Saturday & Sunday, June 12-13, 2021

After spending Saturday afternoon floating through Norwood Canyon with Jackson, I decided to head up higher into the San Juan Mountains to the headwaters of the San Miguel River so I could go on a quick hike Sunday morning before heading back home. It’s time for me to start hiking in the mountains for the summer, so I figured I better start acclimating again by spending more time at elevation now. It’s funny, I’ve spent a lot of time in the areas surrounding the San Miguel Mountains, but I don’t recall ever stepping foot inside the Lizard Head Wilderness area before, so I thought it was time that I finally did.

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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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The Paradise Slot & Grosvenor Arch

Southern Utah Wanderings | Tuesday & Wednesday, October 6-7, 2020

After leaving Lick Wash in the midafternoon on Tuesday, we drove back to Tropic to grab some dinner and then headed out through Cannonville and down the Cottonwood Road into the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument so we could check out a remote and little-known slot canyon known as the Paradise Slot on Wednesday morning. This short slot canyon is kind of out of the way, so we figured we probably wouldn’t run into any other people out in this area, and it turns out that we would be right about that! We stopped to visit Grosvenor Arch along the way since we were driving right by it. I think the last time I was here was in 2009, so this was a good opportunity for me to get a better photo in the late afternoon.

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