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Tag: unaweep tabeguache scenic byway

Norwood Canyon of the San Miguel River

San Miguel Canyon: Beaver Creek to the Piñon Green Truss Bridge
Saturday, June 12, 2021 | Average CFS: 608

Unfortunately, this is only the first river trip of the year for me, and it feels long overdue! I was really hoping to get in a few more river trips this spring, but thanks to the dismal snowpack and poor spring runoff, things just haven’t worked out for me this year. The smaller desert rivers that I wanted to float did not have enough water and I did not win any permits from the lotteries this year, so lately I have been keeping an eye on some of the rivers in western Colorado hoping that there would be enough snowmelt to run something. This past week it was looking like the San Miguel River was going to be our best bet, and since we had a really nice time on the lower San Miguel River and Hanging Flume Canyon last year, Jackson and I thought it would be nice to check out a new section through Norwood Canyon this time. There is not a lot of info about this stretch of the San Miguel available, but we found enough bits and pieces online that helped us figure out the logistics of the trip. It was going to be another hot weekend on the Colorado Plateau, so we were looking forward to keeping cool on the San Miguel River!

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Hanging Flume Canyon: San Miguel & Dolores Rivers

Rivers of the West End | Uravan Ballpark to the Rimrocker Trail
Saturday, May 30, 2020 | Average CFS: 485

I had high hopes of floating more ephemeral desert rivers this spring like I did last year, but unfortunately this year hasn’t quite panned out as well as I had hoped it would. Many of the rivers that I wanted to float this year just haven’t had enough water in them and the snowpack is almost gone in most places, so it’s not looking very good. However, while keeping an eye on the local rivers of western Colorado earlier this month, it was looking like the San Miguel River might be our best chance for a float, so I tentatively planned a trip with Jackson for the last weekend in May through Hanging Flume Canyon and hoped for the best. During the week leading up to this weekend I kept a close eye on the water levels and forecast for the San Miguel and things were looking pretty good, especially with the little heat wave that we experienced towards the end of the week, so on Friday our tentative plans turned into a definitive plan for Saturday and I was really looking forward to getting on the lower San Miguel and Dolores Rivers this year!

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Getting Lost in the West End

Silveys Pocket to the Dolores River, Petroglyphs in Paradox & La Sal Creek
Friday – Sunday, April 3-5, 2020

With all of southern Utah essentially shut down to non-locals right now, this weekend I tried to pick one of the more remote areas in western Colorado that wasn’t too far from home to go explore. Ever since I floated through Slick Rock Canyon on the Dolores River last year I have wanted to get back to hike some of the side canyons that we were unable to visit on that trip, so I thought the Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area would be the perfect place to go. I left right from work on Friday and was completely self-contained in my Jeep with food and fuel for the entire weekend so I wouldn’t have to make any stops along the way. I followed the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic Byway to Naturita and then headed over to Big Gypsum Valley where I crossed the bridge over the Dolores River beyond the boat ramp and found a place to camp along the rim of Silveys Pocket.

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Maverick Canyon to Juanita Arch

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This evening after work I headed out on a short hike to visit Juanita Arch in Maverick Canyon, which is located near Gateway, Colorado. This is a hike that has been on my to-do list for over ten years, and now that I’m stuck staying closer to home for the foreseeable future, I though it was finally time to cross it off the list! After arriving at the trailhead, I scoped out the crossing of the Dolores River to figure out how I wanted to tackle it. I had brought along my packraft in case I needed it, but I saw a spot where it looked easy enough to cross on foot, so I decided to do that instead of dealing with the packraft. Although I had enough time to drive to the trailhead, hike to the arch and return to my Jeep just after sunset, I felt a little rushed on this hike and probably should have allotted more time to enjoy it. I guess that just means I’ll have to return another time in the future!

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Roc Creek Petroglyphs

Sunday, December 10, 2017

On Sunday morning we left home shortly after sunrise and drove through Unaweep Canyon to Gateway and then continued along the Dolores River to visit a petroglyph panel located in Roc Creek Canyon. We had actually spent some time searching for this particular panel a few years ago (I believe it was on our way back home from this trip to Paradox Valley), but were unable to find them that day while driving the road through the canyon and scanning the cliffs with our binoculars. At the time I had no clue where they were located, I only knew that there was supposed to be a panel of petroglyphs somewhere in the canyon. Then a few months ago I picked up a map from WETA (West End Trails Alliance) and was surprised to find that it showed a hiking trail right to the petroglyphs!

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