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Tag: wilderness

Valley of Shining Water: Along the Pahranagat Trail

Rock Art of the Pahranagat Valley: In Search of the Pahranagat Man
Thursday – Sunday, January 12-15, 2023

This holiday weekend I took an extra day off from work on Friday so I could spend four days hiking, camping and searching for petroglyphs in the warmer temperatures of the Pahranagat Valley in Nevada, which straddles the transition zone between the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts. But just like during my recent New Years weekend, the weather would have other plans for me this weekend. I left from work on Thursday afternoon and made my way down to St. George where I grabbed a late dinner and then found a spot to camp just over the state line in Arizona. Jared also drove down that evening after work and joined up with me at my campsite after I had already fallen asleep. In the morning we both got up just before sunrise and headed further southwest to the Moapa Valley where we followed the Muddy River to the mouth of Pahranagat Wash and went on our first hike into the narrows of Arrow Canyon.

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Canaan Mountain: Water Canyon to the White Domes

Southern Utah Wanderings | Tuesday & Wednesday, October 4-5, 2022

After leaving Escalante on Monday evening, making our way over the Paunsaugunt Plateau, and driving past the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in the dark to the Block Mesas, we then started heading north on sandy Jeep roads past Elephant Butte so we could hike into the East Fork of the Virgin River on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, we ended up running into a number of very washed out sections of the roads that stopped our progress and since it was starting to get late we decided to backtrack a bit and find a campsite for the night. Now we would switch our plans around and hike up Water Canyon onto Canaan Mountain on Tuesday morning instead, and then we would see if we wanted try to find another route to The Barracks afterwards.

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Canyons of the Escalante: The Box of Pine Creek

Southern Utah Wanderings | Monday, October 3, 2022

After staying up too late on Sunday evening for a concert that was delayed and cut short, I woke up early on Monday and made my way over to Escalante where I met up with Jared later in the morning. There was a very nice and colorful sunrise as I drove across the San Rafael Desert, but I didn’t stop for any photos this time. After getting gas in town we decided to start the week off with a warm-up hike through The Box this afternoon, so we dropped off my Jeep at the lower trailhead and then took Jared’s Jeep to the upper trailhead on the shoulder of Boulder Mountain where we started the 1,500 foot descent along Pine Creek.

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Weminuche Wanderings: Lime Mesa to Overlook Point

Mountain View Crest of the Weminuche Wilderness
Friday – Saturday, August 26-27, 2022

Since I was going to be leaving after work on Monday afternoon for a weeklong trip into northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, I wanted to be home on Sunday to make sure that I was prepped and packed for the trip, so that left me with only one day this weekend to get out hiking. My plans for last weekend had been thwarted by stormy weather in the high country, so I decided to retry part of those plans with a short hike into the Weminuche Wilderness from the end of the road on Lime Mesa between Silverton and Durango. As usual, I left right from work on Friday afternoon and headed south on the Million Dollar Highway and was able to watch the most recent storm system clearing out as I drove over Red Mountain Pass, Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass through the heart of the San Juan Mountains. After reaching the very northern tip of the Animas River Valley I headed up the Missionary Ridge Road in search of a campsite to spend the night.

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West Elk Wilderness: Cut Short on the Mill-Castle Trail

Saturday, August 13, 2022

This weekend Diane was able to get away from her clinical rotations for a bit so she could go on an overnight backpacking trip with me into the West Elk Wilderness. We planned to take it easy by hiking up the Mill-Castle Trail along Mill Creek and thought that maybe we could make it up to the top of Storm Pass for an overlook of The Castles before returning the same way back to the trailhead. Unfortunately, this time we didn’t made it much further beyond the nice waterfall in Mill Creek and ended up turning this backpacking trip into a day hike. This was an amazingly scenic canyon and we both really enjoyed the shorter hike, so we will definitely need to return here again in the future!

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