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Tag: uncompahgre plateau

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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Devil’s Thumb & The Awesome ‘Dobie Badlands

Adobe Badlands Wilderness Study Area & Roubideau Creek
Friday & Saturday, May 7-8, 2021

Next week Diane actually has a full week off from school between semesters and we are planning on spending that time in northern Arizona and New Mexico so she can get away from studying for a little bit. Since I still have a lot to do around the house to prepare for that trip I didn’t want to stray too far away from home this weekend, so I decided I would just head out for a quick and easy overnight trip to explore the Adobe Badlands and Roubideau Creek near Delta. I left straight from work on Friday, grabbed a quick dinner in Delta and then drove over to the edge of the Adobe Badlands Wilderness Study Area just north of town so I could hike up to the Devil’s Thumb this evening. I notice the Devil’s Thumb every time I drive through Delta and always think to myself that I should make the time to visit it, so this hike has been long overdue. It was about 90 degrees and very windy out when I started hiking, so it was a bit warm but at least the wind made it feel a little cooler and also kept any bugs away!

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West Pollock Arch & Window Rock Tower

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness
Sunday, June 7, 2020

This weekend I was hoping to get back on the river with a couple of friends again, but it seems that Mother Nature had other plans for us. Between severe thunderstorms on Saturday and very strong winds on Sunday, we decided it was best to cancel our river plans this weekend and try again another time. On Sunday afternoon I decided it was time to get out of the house for a little while and went on a short local hike to visit West Pollock Arch in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness. Even though it was windy out, the temperature had dropped significantly because of the passing storm on Saturday, making it perfect weather for hiking. Plus I figured the strong winds would help keep the gnats away that are usually prevalent at this time of the year. I left home in the middle of the afternoon and drove over Black Ridge to the Rattlesnake Arches Trailhead to start my hike. When I arrived there was only one other vehicle at the trailhead and they were just leaving. I was surprised since it was a nice day and this is usually a popular trailhead. After descending to the lower Rattlesnake Arches Trail on the bench below I headed east past Window Rock Tower to the rim of the West Fork of Pollock Canyon.

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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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The High Trail of Flume Creek Canyon

Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The ledge varies in width, 10 to 20 feet at the wider places, less than 30 inches at the narrowest. Yet this precarious shelf is a well-traveled road… Over the High Trail, great bands of sheep, herds of white-faced cattle, packers and camp movers, with their strings of loaded pack horses, pass on their migrations between the Black Ridge country and the lowlands along the Colorado River.

-Will C. Minor

This evening after work I headed back into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness in search of a historic route known as the High Trail which is located in upper Flume Creek Canyon. After visiting Will Minor Arch on a bench above Mee Canyon last weekend I was interested to find out more about who Will Minor was, so I did a little searching to see what I could dig up. I didn’t find much information online, but I did come across this article from the Daily Sentinel written by Bob Silbernagel in 2013. My interest was very piqued as I read about the High Trail and I knew instantly that I had to go looking for this route! Using the two photos from the article as reference and Google Earth, I was quickly able to figure out what I thought was the location of the trail in upper Flume Creek Canyon, and I wanted to get out there as quickly as I could to find out if I was correct!

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