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Tag: utah

Christmas in Arches 2023

Moab Winter Weekend | Saturday – Monday, December 23-25, 2023

After spending last weekend exploring the sandstone fins on the east side of the Colorado River in the Sand Flats Recreation Area, it was time for me to head over to Arches National Park for the extended Christmas weekend. While I usually only spend Christmas Day in Arches and then bounce around the desert canyons surrounding Moab for the rest of the holiday weekend, this year I wanted to spend the entire three days within the park. Unfortunately, Diane would not be joining me this year since she was scheduled to work all weekend and on the holiday, so I would be on my own. I left home early on Saturday morning and drove straight to Arches National Park through a consistent rain the entire way with some fog in the lower lying areas.

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Moab Meanderings: Sand Flats Recreation Area

Saturday & Sunday, December 16-17, 2023

Since the winter season has arrived in Moab, I decided to return to the Sand Flats Recreation Area this weekend so I could finish hiking the popular Slickrock Bike Trail just outside of town. After watching one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen from the Needles Overlook in early 2020, I had hiked about half of the Slickrock Trail’s eastern side but I wasn’t able to complete the full loop that day because there was just too much snow on the steep slopes of the undulating trail that made it dangerous and hard to follow. I figured this would also be a good opportunity to just spend the entire weekend within Sand Flats so I could continue hiking some of the trails in the area that I had not been on before and spend the night in one of the camp loops. It sounded like a good enough plan to me, so I left home early on Saturday morning and made my way over to Moab.

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Five Years Later: Nine Mile Canyon 2023

Saturday & Sunday, December 9-10, 2023

Diane hasn’t been able to join me on a weekend trip for a little while now, so when she got her schedule a few months back and saw that she had this weekend off we made plans to spend some time in one of our favorite places that for some reason we had not been back to in quite a while. It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s been over five years (has it really been that long!?) since the last time Diane and I spent any time exploring Nine Mile Canyon together and we were definitely overdue for a return visit! We left home early on Saturday morning, drove to Wellington and then spent the remainder of the weekend searching for Rock Art in and around the canyon. We revisited some sites we have been to before, but we also found plenty of new stuff along the way, too. Here are some photos of what we saw this weekend…

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The Canyons of North Wash II

Butler Canyon & Marinus Canyon | Saturday & Sunday, December 2-3, 2023

This weekend I decided to make my way back down into the Canyons of North Wash so I could continue what I had started last December when I spent a weekend hiking and exploring new-to-me canyons in the area. I left from home bright and early on Saturday morning and drove west on icy roads shrouded in fog until I reached the Utah state line where conditions began to improve. After a brief stop for gas in Green River I turned south and drove across the San Rafael Desert to Hanksville and then continued on to Three Forks, where North Wash, Butler Canyon and Stair Canyon all come together. An added benefit of driving south of Hanksville on Highway 95 at sunrise is being able to watch the first light of the day strike the Henry Mountains, and they put on a great show this morning so I just had to stop for a couple photos along the way!

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Below the Bears Ears: Thanksgiving Weekend 2023

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 10 | Thursday – Sunday, November 23-26, 2023

This year for the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend I returned Below the Bears Ears to the canyons of Cedar Mesa like I typically do at this time of the year, so I could explore some new places and maybe revisit some old ones along the way. When I left home early on Thursday morning the weather forecast was not looking that great for Friday into Saturday with our first real winter storm on the way, but I wasn’t too concerned about it since I had plenty of backup hikes in mind that I could go on regardless of what the weather had in store. That turned out to be a good thing since the higher elevations of Cedar Mesas did end up getting some snow and I had to alter my original plans a bit so I could hike into canyons at lower elevations. While Diane would usually join me on this annual trip, this year she was scheduled to work part of the weekend and was unfortunately unable to come with, so I would be flying solo this time.

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