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Tag: vermilion cliffs

Grand Canyon Polychrome: Exploring The Esplanade II

Veterans Day Weekend | Wednesday – Saturday, November 10-13, 2021

I can hardly believe that it’s been over three years since I last set foot on the Esplanade in 2018! Back in 2019 Diane and I took the year off from visiting the North Rim so we could finally go see the Waterfalls of Havasu Canyon on the other side of the Grand Canyon, and then in 2020 we cancelled our planned trip due to the weather forecast and other things we needed to get done at home. I’ve been looking forward to getting back and was happy to finally return this extended Veterans Day weekend with Jerry. It felt great to be back on the Esplanade! The sky was clear and the high temperatures were in the 70’s while the lows at night were very comfortable in the 40’s. We even found some water in a couple shallow potholes. As usual, I’m not going to get into all the specific details of this trip, but I will share plenty of photos below. We found everything we were looking for and had a pretty great time, until we started climbing out of the canyon on Friday…

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Sandstone & Sand Hills: The Paria Plateau

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Thursday – Sunday, January 24-27

It’s been almost a full year since the last time I was out exploring and photographing the wonderful sandstone of the Paria Plateau and I was really itching to get back out there again soon. A few months ago I secured a permit to Coyote Buttes South for this Friday and then planned to spend the rest of the weekend exploring other areas of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument outside of the Coyote Buttes permit zones. Unfortunately, after I had already picked the weekend and got the permit I found out that the annual Ouray Ice Festival was scheduled for this same weekend, so I guess I was going to miss it this year. Diane was supposed to be in Las Vegas with a friend this weekend, which is why I originally chose it, but when her plans fell through there were no longer any permits available so I would be on my own this trip.

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Easter Weekend Around the Paria Plateau

Easter Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2016

After spending Friday wandering around Coyote Buttes North, I returned to my camp near the Utah-Arizona state line in Coyote Valley to spend another night there. I slept in a little later on Saturday morning and didn’t crawl out of my tent until the sun came up. I would be spending the rest of the weekend circumnavigating the Paria Plateau and exploring some new areas along the way. After packing up camp, I returned north to the Buckskin Gulch Trailhead and hiked down the wash to explore the edge of the West Clark Bench (The Dive). Diane and I had explored part of this area on a hike from Wire Pass at the end of 2014 and I wanted to check out some more of the area this morning.

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Sand Cove & Yellow Rock

Friday – Sunday, January 31 – February 2, 2014

I had another permit to Coyote Buttes North this Saturday, so I decided to spend the weekend down around the Paria. The weather looked like it was going to be pretty nice so I was looking forward to getting in my first camping trip of the year. I only worked a half-day on Friday and then started driving through a snowstorm as I headed south through Utah. I finally got out of the snow shortly after passing through Monticello. I stopped for a quick dinner in Page and then hurried to make it up to the Paria Canyon Overlook in time for sunset. Unfortunately, I didn’t leave myself enough time and made it to the overlook just after the sun had set. I was a little disappointed at first, but soon realized that the canyon looked pretty good in the early twilight. I had originally planned on camping up at the overlook for the night, but it was much windier and colder up here than I had anticipated, so I decided to drive back down to the Stateline Campground for the night. That way I would also be much closer to the Wire Pass trailhead for an early start in the morning.

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Coyote Buttes North & Willis Creek

Friday – Monday, November 8-11, 2013

Last November I said that I was going to be taking a little break from visiting the Paria Plateau, and I have. However, almost exactly a year later I was ready to go back for another visit and managed to get another permit for Coyote Buttes North. I was only able to get one permit this time around, so it was a good weekend for me to take a solo trip. If I had to choose a month, I think November is probably my favorite time of the year to visit this area. This is the third year in a row that I have visited Coyote Buttes North in November and it seems like I usually have good conditions this time of the year. Even though this was the first year that I had clear blue skies all day with no dynamic weather, I still managed to come back home with many new images. Feel free to check out my previous November trip reports from 2011 and 2012.

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