The Canyons of Navajo Mountain & Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Wednesday – Monday, March 15-20, 2023
This year for our annual spring backpacking trip, Jared, Dave and I were planning to spend an easy four days and three nights hiking down Paria Canyon from the White House Trailhead to Lees Ferry. It’s a trip we have all wanted to do for a long time and were looking forward to, but back in December when I reserved the permit we had no idea what the atmospheric river would have in store for us this winter! A couple of days before our ...
Saturday & Sunday, March 4-5, 2023
This weekend Diane and I headed down to the Trachyte Creek area just north of Mount Holmes and the Little Rockies to go on an easy overnight backpacking trip into Swett Canyon. This is now the fourth year in a row that I have explored the tributaries of Trachyte Creek in early March, and it’s an area that I have enjoyed getting to know a little more intimately over these past couple of years. Since I did not get to do as much backpacking last year as I would have liked, I am hoping ...
Petrified Forest National Park | Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit
Tuesday – Wednesday, May 24-25, 2022
After our half-day Jeep tour in Canyon del Muerto on Monday, it was time to spend a pair of days hiking in the backcountry of Petrified Forest National Park, which has quickly become one of our favorite places to explore over the past couple of years. Since the park does not open until 8:00am, we were able to sleep in a little later this morning before leaving Holbrook and driving over to the entrance. Once we arrived, the first thing we ...
Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness: Bulwark Arch & Arete Arch
Saturday & Sunday, April 2-3, 2022
This weekend I needed to stay close to home since I’m going to be leaving on a trip to The Maze in a couple of days, so Diane and I decided to head out on a local overnight backpacking trip into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness to visit a couple more arches located on the benches high above Mee Canyon. We slept in a bit late on Saturday morning, had a good breakfast, and then drove up through Glade Park to the Knowles ...
Canyons of the Waterpocket Fold: The Other Grand Gulch
Friday – Monday, March 18-21, 2022
This weekend I finally had the opportunity to hike into the Halls Creek Narrows which are located at the very southern tip of Capitol Reef National Park, as I continue to work my way through the many interesting Canyons of the Waterpocket Fold. This hike has been long overdue for me as I’ve tentatively planned to go here almost every year for at least the last five years, but it seems that something has always come up that made me cancel those plans- usually the ...
Formerly the Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout | Saturday & Sunday, January 29-30, 2022
Over the past couple of years I have been trying to visit at least one new Fire Lookout each year, so I thought I would get an early start this year when I booked a night in the Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout near Idaho Springs this past October. This unique structure was constructed of native granite by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1940’s and is situated on top of Squaw Mountain at about 11,500 feet. The cab measures 14 X 14 feet, is completely lined by ...
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 ...
An Autumn Return to Jones Hole, Island Park & Rainbow Park
Friday – Sunday, October 15-17, 2021
A little while back Diane found out that she was actually going to have this Friday off from school, and she immediately let me know that she really wanted to go to Dinosaur National Monument over this three-day weekend for her birthday, so I also took Friday off from work and planned the trip. She didn’t have anywhere specific in the park that she wanted to go, she was just looking forward to getting outside away from school for a bit, so she ...
Finishing the Four Corners State High Points | Friday & Saturday, September 3-4, 2021
After climbing Humphreys Peak on Thursday, and then spending this morning on Mount Taylor near Grants, it was now finally time to finish off the Four Corner state high points with Wheeler Peak in New Mexico. Following my short visit to the La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs near Santa Fe this afternoon, I continued north to Taos and then headed up to the trailhead in the Taos Ski Valley. I was hoping to find a place to spend the night along the way, but the Taos Ski Valley ...
Headwaters of the Green River | Tuesday – Saturday, August 17-21, 2021
After Diane and I visited the Wind Rivers for the Great American Eclipse in 2017 we decided that we should try to return every other summer to visit somewhere new in the range. Two years ago we came back and hiked to the Cirque of the Towers, so this year I thought it would be a good idea to check out the area around the Green River Lakes and planned a four day backpacking trip for us. Since Canyonlands is the heart of the world to me and ...
An Introduction to the Powderhorn Wilderness & Cannibal Point
Saturday & Sunday, August 14-15, 2021
On Friday Diane finished another semester of school and finally had a full week off before she starts back up again. We had made plans to spend a couple of days in the Wind Rivers later in the week, but since she hasn’t been able to get out hiking much lately we thought it would be a good idea to get out on a quick overnight backpacking trip this weekend. As I looked over my maps of the San Juan Mountains for an easier overnight ...
Gunsight Pass Peaks: Broncho Mountain & Square Top Mountain
Friday – Sunday, July 16-18, 2021
Last year when Diane and I were hiking to the Highest Fire Lookout in North America, located on the summit of Fairview Peak in the Sawatch Range, I consistently found myself glancing across the Gold Creek Valley to Fossil Ridge and immediately knew that I would need to come back in 2021 to start exploring that area. After poring over maps of the Fossil Creek Wilderness it looked like the short trail to Lamphier Lake and Gunsight Pass would be a good place for me ...
A Return to Petrified Forest National Park
Sunday & Monday, May 16-17, 2021
After an amazing Saturday checking out the ruins and rock art of the Ute Mountain Tribal Park we were now planning on spending the next two days digging deeper into the backcountry of Petrified Forest National Park. We had such a great time exploring the Petrified Forest last February that we couldn’t wait to get back for some more! Of course, we would have preferred to come back earlier in the year when it’s a bit cooler out and less crowded, but this would probably be our ...
Wednesday – Sunday, April 21-25, 2021
Last spring I was looking forward to spending a few days hiking into upper Salt Creek Canyon in Canyonlands National Park with Diane so I could show her around one of my very favorite places on the Colorado Plateau for the first time. I was also hoping to squeeze in some deeper explorations into the area while we were there. Unfortunately, COVID-19 struck and would have other plans for us when Canyonlands cancelled our permit for the last weekend in April. I then managed to quickly snag another permit for later in May, but ...
Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 4
Wednesday – Sunday, March 31 – April 4, 2021
Last spring Jared, Dave and I had made plans and obtained a permit to backpack on the Navajo Nation for the first time, but because the pandemic shut a lot of things down at the time, we were forced to cancel those plans. Since the Navajo Nation was still closed to visitors this spring we had to find something else to do for our annual spring backpacking trip this year. After discussing a number of different options over the winter, we finally settled on backpacking the ...
Trail Canyon to Lake Powell | Friday – Sunday, March 5-7, 2021
I’ve got a few upcoming backpacking trips planned starting in just a couple of weeks and I thought it would be a good idea to get out on my first backpacking trip of the year so I could get back into the swing of things, especially since I realized that I have not been on a backpacking trip since early October! Last March Diane and I went on an overnight backpacking trip along Trachyte Creek at this time of the year that we enjoyed, so I thought it ...
Canyons of the Paria | Deer Creek Canyon & Lower Bull Valley Gorge
Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Monday, October 2-5, 2020
This year for our annual week-long trek into Southern Utah, Jared and I decided to spend most of our time exploring the canyons of the upper Paria River located within the Paria – Hackberry Wilderness Study Area. As usual, I left right after work on Friday afternoon and headed to the BLM Visitor Center in Cannonville where Jared and I had planned to meet up. Our timing turned out to be pretty good since he arrived about ...
Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness
Sunday & Monday, August 16-17, 2020
This weekend Diane and I finally got our chance to visit the Conundrum Hot Springs in the Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness, which is something that has been on my to-do list for as long as I can remember. For the longest time I figured this was one trip that I probably would never actually do because of how popular it is and how busy it gets in the summer, and the last thing I wanted to do was hike all the way in to the hot springs only ...
Headwaters of the White River | The Flat Tops Wilderness of the White River Plateau
Independence Day Weekend | Friday – Saturday, July 3-4, 2020
After spending the last couple of weekends on the river it was finally time to start heading up into Colorado’s high country for the short summer season! This weekend Diane and I decided to head up to visit the headwaters of the White River in the Flat Tops Wilderness, where I hoped we could find a little solitude over this popular and busy holiday weekend. Although I’ve gone on a few day hikes into the ...
Cimarron Point into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison | Curecanti National Recreation Area
Saturday & Sunday, June 13-14, 2020
The next couple of weeks are about to get pretty busy for us since we will be moving into a new house, but I wanted to try to get one more quick overnight backpacking trip in before that happens. Since we still had a lot to do at home, I was looking for something easier and close to home where I didn’t think we would run into many people. After looking over some maps, I thought it would be nice ...
Friday – Monday, May 15-18, 2020
This weekend I was supposed to be backpacking with Diane in Canyonlands National Park, but since the park is still closed due to COVID-19 they cancelled my second permit there this spring. At this point I guess that I will just have to try again next year. While looking into alternate plans for the weekend the weather forecast was predicting much warmer temperatures across the Southwest, so I tried to find someplace that was a little higher in elevation where it might be cooler, and after weighing my options I decided it was finally ...
Following Another Segment of the Historic Halls Road
Friday – Sunday, May 8-10, 2020
This weekend Diane and I headed into the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area so that we could continue my Canyons of the Escalante series by hiking down Silver Falls Creek to the Escalante River and back. With warmer temperatures in the desert lately, I was looking for an easy overnight backpacking trip where we could camp near water to cool off during the heat of the day. Plus, with seemingly more people out on our public lands right now, I was also looking for a more ...
Canyons of the Black Ridge Wilderness | 1,000th Trip Report
Saturday & Sunday, April 25-26, 2020
Before I get started, I just wanted to note that this Trip Report marks an important milestone in the history of ADVENTR.co. This is the 1,000th Trip Report that I have posted to this blog! As much as I would have loved to have gone somewhere further from home for this special occasion, it is what it is, and with the current restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to stay close to home this time. When this year began, I had ...
Friday – Sunday, March 27-29, 2020
This weekend Diane and I headed over to Capitol Reef National Park so we could get in one last backpacking trip before Colorado and Utah were both completely shut down and only open to local residents due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. At this point in time it was still OK to visit and camp within Wayne and Garfield Counties in Utah, plus Capitol Reef National Park was still open, so the trip was a go! We knew that this was probably going to be our last backpacking trip into Utah for a while, ...
White Sands National Park: Same White Sand, Different Name
My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Valentines Day | Friday & Saturday, February 14-15, 2020
Three years ago Diane and I had visited White Sands National Monument for the first time while we were traveling through the deserts of the southwest on our Honeymoon Adventure. We really enjoyed our experience camping within the world’s largest gypsum dunefield, so when I started planning my 40th birthday trip I had considered returning for another overnight visit and added it to the possible list of places we could go. While it ...
Our First Time Backpacking Among the Saguaros
My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Tuesday – Wednesday, February 11-12, 2020
Today was the part of the trip that I was looking forward to the most since I first started making these plans last year. I have wanted to hike through the perennial waters of Aravaipa Canyon, sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Sonoran Desert, for a long time and this experience was one of the main reasons I had planned this birthday trip into southeast Arizona in the first place. Back in November I secured ...
Veterans Day Weekend | Friday – Monday, November 8-11, 2019
While we have been spending the long Veterans Day Weekend backpacking somewhere along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon these past couple of years, this year I decided to find something a little closer to home since we just hiked down into Havasu Canyon a couple weeks ago and I didn’t really want to drive back to the Grand Canyon twice within a couple of weeks. After hiking through the Grand Gorge of Muddy Creek last year and then floating through The Chute of Muddy Creek earlier this year, ...
Braving the Crowds and Permit Process to Finally Visit Havasupai
Wednesday – Sunday, October 23-27, 2019
I typically try to avoid crowded and very popular locations when I head out into the backcountry, but Havasu Canyon is one area that I felt I needed to make an exception for. I guess I should have tried to go over a decade ago when I first learned about this place, but who knew then how popular it was going to become thanks to Instagram and other social media platforms? This year I decided it was finally time to try to obtain permits, ...
Canyons of the Escalante | Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Thursday & Friday, October 3-4, 2019
After an easier day exploring the colorful sandstone around Big Horn Canyon on Wednesday, it was time for our next overnight backpacking loop hike and this was one that I was pretty excited for since I’ve wanted to hike through Little Death Hollow for a long time! I slept in until just after sunrise on Thursday morning but I heard Jared get up before sunrise to wander around camp for a few photos. Once the sun was up we took our time ...
Canyons of the Escalante | Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Sunday & Monday, September 29-30, 2019
After spending Saturday hiking through Phipps Wash and Deer Canyon, we were ready to begin our overnight backpacking trip through the Escalante River Gorge on Sunday morning. The previous night we had found a campsite on Big Spencer Flats and had done our best to prepare for the high winds and storms that were forecasted overnight. It did stay pretty windy out for much of the night and there was a little on and off rain, but not enough that anything was ...
Saturday & Sunday, September 21-22, 2019
Although I wanted to try to climb Mount of the Holy Cross (14,005) with Diane this summer, we just never found the time to squeeze it in. Still, I wanted to get in at least one short backpacking trip into the Holy Cross Wilderness this year since I really haven’t spent much time in the northern Sawatch Range before, so we decided to go on an easy overnighter to Fancy Lake this weekend. From Fancy Lake I would also be able to revisit the 1880’s ghost town of Holy Cross City which I first ...
Continental Divide Trail: Hunchback Pass to West Ute Lake
Labor Day Weekend | Friday – Sunday, August 30 – September 1, 2019
Since we just spent last weekend along the Continental Divide in Wyoming, I figured it would be nice to spend some time along the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado this weekend. Since Labor Day is a popular holiday in the mountains of Colorado I planned a backpacking loop into an area of the Weminuche Wilderness that I hoped would not be very busy so we could try to avoid the crowds. The plan worked out great as we ...
Wednesday – Saturday, August 21-24, 2019
After our first backpacking trip into the Wind River Range for The Great American Eclipse two years ago it was time that we finally headed back for a another one. Since we had some pretty good conditions on that last trip (weather and mosquitoes) we planned to go at the same time of the year. Of course, since we had already visited Titcomb Basin and Island Lake on that previous trip, this time I really wanted to check out the Cirque of the Towers. I had originally planned this trip to be a four ...
Saturday & Sunday, August 10-11, 2019
I had such a nice time in the Sawatch Range a couple of weeks ago when I climbed Mount Yale that I decided to return again this weekend with Diane so we could go on an overnight backpacking trip along Frenchman Creek and climb Mount Columbia (14,073) on Sunday morning. Since we didn’t have a long hike ahead of us, we slept in later on Saturday morning before heading out on our way to the Arkansas River Valley. We stopped at K’s in Buena Vista for lunch and then from there it was a ...
Saturday & Sunday, July 13-14, 2019
This weekend I wanted to finally get out on our first backpacking trip into the mountains for the season. I was looking for an easier overnighter that wasn’t too far from home, preferably in the San Juan Mountains, and after looking at recent satellite images to see how much snow was left in the high country I decided that we would give Crater Lake in the West Needle Mountains a try. From the recent satellite images it looked like there might still be a little snow on the ground in the area, but nothing ...
Thursday – Sunday, May 30 – June 2, 2019
After a quick visit to Navajo National Monument back in 2011, which was when I was on my way to visit The Wave for the very first time, I knew that I needed to come back another time so I could actually hike to the Keet Seel and Betatakin ruins. Every year since then I have thought about going back but I never got around to making the advance reservations for the Keet Seel hike which typically fills up early in the year. When I made the decision that I was ...
Saturday & Sunday, May 18-19, 2019
This weekend we had some stuff to get done around the house but we still wanted to try and squeeze in a backpacking trip this month, so we decided to head over to the Dominguez – Escalante National Conservation Area for a quick overnighter into Big Dominguez Canyon. While I have hiked into lower Big Dominguez Canyon many times over the years, Diane had never been in this canyon before and wanted to finally check it out. We planned to do a repeat of my very first backpacking trip by starting out in Cactus ...
Five Years Later | Return to Salt Creek Canyon
Wednesday – Sunday, April 10-14, 2019
After spending the past couple of years searching for rock art and ancient ruins in Grand Gulch during our annual spring backpacking trip together, this year Dave, Jared and I were really looking forward to getting back into upper Salt Creek Canyon in Canyonlands National Park to see what we had missed on our first visit almost five years ago. I made sure to secure our camping permits earlier this year so we could spend four days exploring the heart of the Salt Creek Archeological ...
Thursday – Sunday, March 14-17, 2019
Last March Diane and I had such a nice time backpacking through Chesler Park and Elephant Canyon in Canyonlands National Park on our first backpacking trip of the season, that we decided to head back to The Needles for another early season backpacking trip this year, too! I think this might become one of our new annual traditions, at least for a couple of years! The Needles is a great place to get back into backpacking mode after taking a few months off, so at the end of last year I reserved a couple ...
The Hades Site | Veterans Day Weekend
Thursday – Sunday, November 8-11, 2018
Over the past couple of years I have been trying to spend a long weekend during the late fall searching for Grand Canyon Polychrome Pictographs on the Esplanade in the Grand Canyon. This year Diane and I met up with our friend Jerry and went on a three day – two night backpacking trip in search of the Hades Site. Diane and I left after work on Wednesday evening and spent the night in St. George so we could see if the ancient mug I found earlier ...
Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Saturday, October 5-6, 2018
After spending the previous two nights at the Horsehoof Campsite in Canyonlands National Park it was time for us to move on. When we got our permit for Horsehoof on Wednesday morning we also picked up a backpacking permit for the Red Lake / Grabens At-Large Backpacking Zone for tonight, so we still had one more night left in the Needles District. Aside from driving through Devils Lane a bunch of times and hiking down the Lower Red Lake Canyon Trail earlier this year, I had never really explored this ...
Labor Day Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, August 30 – September 2, 2018
Last August when Diane and I were driving home through the eastern edge of the Uinta Mountains from our first backpacking trip in the Wind River Range in Wyoming, I mentioned that we needed to go on a backpacking trip into the High Uintas Wilderness in 2018, so I put it on our calendar for Labor Day weekend when I got back home. Fast forward a few months and it was time to start figuring out more specific plans for the trip. After looking at maps and ...
Colorado Adventure 2018 | Friday – Sunday, August 3-5, 2018
A number of years ago I used to take a week off from work during the summer and spend it exploring the mountains of Colorado with my Jeep. Earlier this year I decided that it was time to revive that tradition so I took off the first full week in August and planned to climb some mountains in other ranges besides the San Juans and the Elks. However, before heading off into the mountains on my own, I planned a long weekend backpacking trip with Diane in the Gore Range ...
Saturday & Sunday, July 14-15, 2018
So far, this seems to be the summer of hiking to places that have been on my to-do list for a very long time (Highland Mary Lakes & The Devils Causeway), so I figured it was finally time to check out Oh-Be-Joyful Creek in the Raggeds Wilderness near Crested Butte. While part of this hike is commonly done as a day trip, we decided to go for a quick and easy overnight backpacking trip up the valley so we could camp near Blue Lake, which is located in the Ruby Range on a ledge ...
Saturday & Sunday, June 9-10, 2018
This weekend Diane and I decided to go on a very early season backpacking trip into the high country near Silverton. During a normal year we wouldn’t even consider going on a backpacking trip into the mountains until later in June or early in July, but with the low snowpack this year we decided to give it a try much earlier to see how the conditions really were. Also, since it’s still early in the season, the monsoons haven’t started yet and we would be able to camp well above tree line without worrying ...
Grand Gulch Finale
Friday – Tuesday, April 20 – 24, 2018
Last year I had to skip my annual spring backpacking trip with Dave and Jared since I didn’t have any free time left after my wedding and Honeymoon Adventure in March. This year we decided to resume the tradition and go on a four day backpacking trip into the middle section of Grand Gulch between Bullet Canyon and the Government Trail. This is pretty much the final section of Grand Gulch (starting from under the Bears Ears near Highways 95 all the way to the San Juan River) that ...
Friday – Monday, March 9-12, 2018
Late last year as I was thinking about planning some of my 2018 trips that would require advance permits, I decided it was finally time to backpack into Chesler Park in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. I’ve day-hiked into Chesler Park a number of times over the years from the four-wheel drive trailhead of the Joint Trail, but this time I wanted to backpack in so I could spend more time exploring the area and hopefully photographing this beautiful area at sunrise and sunset. Of course, planning a trip this far out ...
The Panther Gallery, Shaman’s Gallery & Turret Site
Veterans Day Weekend | Thursday – Monday, November 9-13, 2017
This year for the extended Veterans Day weekend Diane and I headed down to the Arizona Strip where we met up with our friend Jerry to backpack and hike along the Esplanade in search of Grand Canyon Polychrome pictographs. By the end of the weekend we would visit The Panther Gallery, Shaman’s Gallery and Turret Site. We also made stops at Toroweap and Paiute Cave since we were in the area. The weather was pretty nice for the entire weekend with highs ...
Southern Utah Wanderings | Cedar Mesa
Tuesday – Thursday, October 3-5, 2017
After spending Monday in the Abajo Mountains and the previous weekend in the northern section of The Bears Ears, it was time to head over to Cedar Mesa so we could spend then next couple of days exploring some new areas of this part of The Bears Ears searching for new ruins and rock art sites. Here are a few photos from the remainder of our trip…...
East Fork & Middle Fork of The Cimarron River
Labor Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, September 2-4, 2017
Labor Day weekend was upon us again, which meant it was time for another backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness! This would be our fourth year in a row backpacking into the northern valleys of the wilderness area, starting with our Wetterhorn Basin (West Fork) trip back in 2014, then continuing with trips into Big Blue Creek and Fall Creek. Earlier this summer we were also able to go on a quick overnighter along the Little Cimarron River to make up ...
Seneca Lake, Island Lake & Titcomb Basin
Thursday – Monday, August 17-21, 2017
The plans for this particular trip started to come together well over a year ago when I first learned about The Great American Eclipse happening on August 21, 2017. The last total eclipse visible from the United States was before I was born, so I really wanted to make an effort to experience this one. After looking at a map of the path of totality, I saw that this one was going to be visible right over the Wind River Range in Wyoming which is only about ...
Saturday & Sunday, July 15-16, 2017
Last Labor Day weekend, Diane and I had set off to complete a three day loop in the Uncompahgre Wilderness connecting the Fall Creek Trail and the Little Cimarron Trail. Unfortunately, stormy weather prevented us from crossing over the high ridge into the Little Cimarron River valley, so we had to cut our trip short and returned the way we had come. This weekend we decided to go on an overnight trip along the Little Cimarron River to make up for it since I’ve been itching to get back into the Uncompahgre Wilderness, which ...
Friday – Sunday, June 2-4, 2017
This year I have been trying to cross things off my to-do list that have been on there for way too long. One of the items on my list that I have been looking at for a number of years was backpacking into The Great Sand Dunes. Earlier this year I decided that this was finally the year I was going to go for it! After some research it looked like June would be a good time to go. Even though Great Sand Dunes National Park is usually pretty busy in June since Medano ...
Saturday & Sunday, April 22-23, 2017
I have wanted to hike into Jones Hole within Dinosaur National Monument for a long time but have always put it off since getting there is a little out of the way for me. I finally decided it was time to get up there and check it out, but instead of doing it as a day hike, I figured that I would do it as an easy overnight trip and camp along the Green River in Whirlpool Canyon. I really wish I hadn’t waited so long to visit Jones Hole because it was an ...
Tour of the Deserts | Honeymoon Adventure
Thursday & Friday, March 16-17, 2017
After spending the previous day driving from Tucson to Alamogordo and visiting the Three River Petroglyph Site, it was time to finally visit White Sands National Monument. I have long wanted to visit these white gypsum sand dunes located in the Tularosa Valley of southern New Mexico and made sure that this park would be a stop on our Honeymoon Adventure. We headed over to the Visitor Center early and arrived about 30 minutes before they opened at 9:00am so we could get one of the ten ...
Saturday & Sunday, October 29-30, 2016
After taking last weekend off to stay home and relax a little, this weekend Diane and I headed deep into the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness on an overnight backpacking trip into Knowles Canyon. We were in search of a few rock art sites thought to be hidden in the canyon, but unfortunately we would come up empty handed locating any of those on this trip. Instead, we would find a beautiful canyon with plenty of solitude only 20 miles from home. It’s nice to know that this kind of solitude can easily be found ...
Friday – Sunday, October 14-16, 2016
A few weeks ago Alan contacted me and invited me on a backpacking trip to visit a few Grand Canyon Polychrome (Esplanade Style) rock art sites near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I have been wanting to find and visit more of these amazing locations since my first visit to the Shamans Gallery a few years back, so I took him up on the offer. Luckily, I didn’t have anything planned for this particular weekend that couldn’t easily be moved to another. While driving all the way down to the Arizona Strip ...
Friday & Saturday, October 7-8, 2016
Earlier this year Diane asked me about wanting to go on a backpacking trip into Coyote Gulch after she saw some photos of the area, so we planned to do a repeat of a trip that I did with Jared a few years ago, except we would go for two nights instead of just one. We left home very early on Friday morning and drove straight to the trailhead only stopping to fill up my gas tank in Torrey. Since we left in the morning instead of the previous night like we had originally ...
Labor Day Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, September 3-4, 2016
For the third Labor Day Weekend in a row, Diane and I planned another backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains. We had such a nice time last year along Big Blue Creek with plenty of solitude that we decided to try and visit a pair of other nearby valleys this year. Unfortunately, things would not go quite as smoothly for us this time....
Saturday & Sunday, August 27-28, 2016
Since Diane enjoys going backpacking with me, it’s been a few years since I went on a solo trip. But since she was busy this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to go on an overnight trip by myself. I have been wanting to climb my first new 14er of the year and one of my goals for the summer was to get over to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, so I thought climbing Humboldt Peak (14,064) from the South Colony Lakes sounded like a perfect trip for the weekend. I’m ...
Friday – Sunday, August 5-7, 2016
After spending the past few weeks and weekends in Illinois, Wisconsin and Salt Lake City, it was finally time for another backpacking trip in the mountains of Colorado. The Lone Eagle Cirque has been on my radar for a long time and earlier this year I finally decided to secure a camping permit at Crater Lake for this weekend. Who knew that this would be a weekend full of heavy rain, storms and low clouds? We went anyway with hopes for the best and maybe even a nice sunset…...
Saturday & Sunday, July 9-10, 2016
Since Diane and I won’t be able to get back into the outdoors for the rest of the month I wanted to do a quick and easy overnight backpacking trip in the mountains this weekend. I was looking for something close to home that wouldn’t be crowded and thought that Blaine Basin in the Sneffels Range of the San Juan Mountains would be a good option. We left home later than usual on Saturday morning and arrived at the Blue Lakes Trailhead around 11am. I was blown away by how many vehicles were at ...
Friday – Sunday, April 29 – May 1, 2016
This weekend Diane and I had taken Friday off work so we could head down to Cedar Mesa on a three-day backpacking trip into Fish Creek Canyon and Owl Creek Canyon. We had originally planned on driving down Thursday evening after work, but with rainy weather in the forecast we decided to stay home Thursday night and left very early on Friday morning. We passed through Moab just in time to stop for breakfast at the Moab Diner and then continued on to the Kane Gulch Ranger Station to pick up ...
Wednesday – Saturday, April 13-16, 2016
Spending a few days backpacking in southern Utah seems to have become an annual tradition for Dave, Jared and myself. A few months ago we started planning our trip to visit another section of Grand Gulch between Pollys Canyon and Collins Canyon that we had not been through before and Dave secured the backpacking permits for our small group. Our plan for Wednesday was to drive down and meet up at a campsite along the road to the Collins Canyon Trailhead. Dave and Jared would be leaving early in the afternoon from Salt Lake ...
Labor Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, September 5-7, 2015
This year for the long Labor Day weekend I wanted to go on another backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, but I also wanted to go somewhere that was unlikely to be crowded since this is probably one of the busiest camping weekends of the year. After some research I selected the Big Blue Creek drainage as our destination. Not only was there very little information about this area online and in guides, which hopefully meant it wouldn’t be very crowded, but I was also ...
Saturday & Sunday, August 29-30, 2015
Even though it’s less than fifty feet shy of registering as one of Colorado’s 13,000 foot peaks, Mount Sopris (12,953) dominates the skyline over Carbondale and the lower Roaring Fork Valley and stands as the northern sentinel of the Elk Mountains. The surrounding Roaring Fork and Crystal River drainages give Mount Sopris vertical prominence that few other mountains in Colorado can match, rising over 6,000 feet in just a few miles. Mount Sopris is also notable for having two summits that are one-half mile apart and equal in elevation....
Saturday & Sunday, July 25-26, 2015
This weekend Diane and I went on an overnight backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains to explore and photograph the area around Unnamed Peak 12968, which is unofficially known as the Dragon’s Back. I have wanted to visit this area for a few years and had planned to finally get there sometime this summer, so I’ve been waiting for the right weather forecast on a weekend when I was also free. With the wet and stormy weather we’ve been having around here lately, this proved to be a challenge ...
Grand Gulch Loop
Friday – Saturday, May 1-3, 2015
After spending a few days in lower Grand Gulch last week, I went back home to work for four days before driving back down to Cedar Mesa to backpack the popular Kane Gulch to Bullet Canyon loop of Grand Gulch with Diane. This would be Diane’s first multi-night backpacking trip and she was looking forward to it. We left home late on Thursday evening after Diane got out of class and reached our campsite for the night at Coyote Flat around 10:00pm. We quickly setup camp in the dark and went ...
Wednesday – Sunday, April 22-26, 2015
It seems to have become an annual spring tradition for Jared, Dave and myself to plan a backpacking trip in late April or early May to southern Utah in search of ancient ruins and rock art. This year we decided to spend three nights in lower Grand Gulch. I left from work on Wednesday afternoon and drove straight down to Cedar Mesa where I met up with Dave and Jared in our usual camp spot. We sat around the fire to catch up and tentatively worked out some plans for the next few days ...
The Monument from Top to Bottom | Black Ridge Loop
Saturday & Sunday, March 28-29, 2015
After completing a traverse across the face of the Colorado National Monument last year I decided that I wanted to put together a longer loop through the Monument to hike this year. The route I strung together begins at the Kodels Canyon trailhead outside of the Monument near Fruita and climbs up the historic Fruita Dugway trail where it connects with the Black Ridge Trail. The Black Ridge trail is the highest trail in the Colorado National Monument topping out at just over 6,700 ...
Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Wednesday & Thursday, October 8-9, 2014
Wednesday morning arrived with another beautiful sunrise from our campsite on Fortymile Ridge. Today we would be starting an overnight backpacking trip into Coyote Gulch. This is a popular backpacking destination in the area, and for good reason since it’s a beautiful hike. I had planned to do this hike in the middle of the week so it hopefully wouldn’t be as crowded as a weekend, and I think it ended up working well for us....
Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Saturday & Sunday, October 4-5, 2014
On Saturday morning I left for my annual week-long trip into southern Utah. This year I planned to spend the whole week along the canyons of the Escalante River in the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. I met Jared, who would be joining me for the entire trip, in Boulder and we took off down the Burr Trail to the trailhead for The Gulch. Our plan was to start out with an overnight backpack trip into The Gulch so I could visit a few rock ...
Labor Day Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, August 30 – 31, 2014
When I asked Diane what she wanted to do over Labor Day weekend she suggested that we go on another backpacking trip. I guess it’s safe to say that she enjoys backpacking since she only went on her very first trip back in June. After a little research we decided on an overnight backpacking trip into Wetterhorn Basin within the Uncompahgre Wilderness. We figured it probably wouldn’t be too busy in this area over the holiday weekend because most people climb Wetterhorn Peak from the other side....
Friday – Tuesday, August 22-26, 2014
Mount Whitney- at 14,508 feet it is the highest mountain peak in the contiguous United States. While I have always thought about climbing to the summit of Mount Whitney at some point in my life, I really had never seriously planned a trip or time frame to do it. About two months ago my friend Geoff sent me a message and asked if I wanted to join him on a day hike of Mount Whitney. He had received a few permits in the lottery earlier in the year, but all of his hiking companions ...
Saturday & Sunday, August 2-3, 2014
This weekend Diane and I spent a nice relaxing overnight backpacking trip at the Blue Lakes in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness. I have wanted to hike up to the Blue Lakes for many years and am glad I was finally able to get up that way. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was nice all weekend, too. While it looked like we might receive some of the typical afternoon storms on Saturday, they managed to miss us and we never saw a drop of rain all weekend. There seemed to be quite a ...
Backpacking Red Rock Canyon
Saturday & Sunday, June 7-8, 2014
Deep, Steep and Narrow. That’s how the National Park Service describes the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and it’s pretty accurate. The Black Canyon is comprised of some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. I’ve wanted to hike down into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison for quite a while now and thought I would try Red Rock Canyon, the easiest route, for my first time. This trail is about 3.5 miles in length and only drops 1330 feet to the river. Compared to ...
Wednesday – Sunday, April 30 – May 4, 2014
Salt Creek Canyon. This is a place I have wanted to visit for quite a long time. It’s actually one of the main reasons I decided to get started backpacking a few years ago. I was very excited to finally experience this amazing canyon, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! I had taken Wednesday off from work so I could spend some time with Diane before leaving and so that I could double-check to make sure I had everything I needed for the trip packed into my backpack and Jeep. In the ...
Friday & Saturday, April 18-19, 2014
Since I have a three night backpacking trip coming up at the beginning of May and I never did get out on a backpacking trip last year, I wanted to get in a quick overnight trip this month. I have also wanted to camp in the backcountry of the Colorado National Monument and hike the full length of No Thoroughfare Canyon. I decided to take care of all three of these goals with an overnight backpacking trip through No Thoroughfare Canyon with my friend Jackson....
Friday – Sunday, August 10-12, 2012
I had really wanted to go backpacking in the San Juan Mountains this weekend, but was unable to find anyone that was able to go with me. Since this would only be my third backpacking trip (first time in the mountains), I was a little hesitant to go by myself, but a few days before the weekend had finally arrived I decided that I would take a solo trip up to Ice Lake Basin. I figured that it was a popular area and that I probably wouldn’t be the only one camping up there ...
Memorial Weekend in The Needles | Day 3
Memorial Day | Monday, May 28, 2012
After another night of great camping weather we had some breakfast and set out hiking so that we could visit the Flying Carpet Panel. We also explored a few small side canyons before hiking back out to our vehicles near Cave Spring....
Memorial Weekend in The Needles | Day 2
Sunday, May 27, 2012
After a good night of sleep at Devil’s Kitchen we spent the rest of the day making our way over to Peekaboo for the night. Of course, we made some other stops along the way....
Saturday & Sunday, April 28-29, 2012
I’m proud to say that I have finally gone on my very first backpacking trip. I’ve been collecting gear for the past few months and finally scheduled a trip with my friend Jackson and his dad. Since this was my first time, I wanted to keep the trip shorter and closer to home…kind of like a trial run to see how it all went. I’m happy to report that everything went well, and I’m looking forward to my next backpacking trip in the future....