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Moab Meanderings Trip Reports

Moab Meanderings: Both Sides of The Portal

Saturday, January 21, 2023

This weekend I decided to stay close to home and went on a day trip to Moab. I originally had other hiking ideas in mind when I left home on Saturday morning, but the Jeep roads I needed to drive were covered with snow and ice and a bit sketchy, so I ended up staying closer to the pavement and hiked trails on both sides of The Portal, which is where the Colorado River enters the canyon just downstream from town. First I headed over to the Moab Rim Trailhead and was going to hike up ...
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Moab Winter Weekend 2021

Christmas Weekend | Friday & Sunday, December 24 & 26, 2021

It feels like it’s been a while since the last time I spent much time around Moab, especially with it getting busier and busier all the time. Lately it feels like I’m just passing through on my way elsewhere and usually try to avoid the area entirely if I can. However, since it was time to return to Arches National Park for our annual Christmas in Arches visit, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a hotel room in Moab for the holiday weekend and spend some time ...
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Moab Winter Weekend 2020

Saturday & Sunday, December 26-27, 2020

Well, I guess this is it. My final trip report from 2020. After spending all of Christmas Day in Arches National Park we spent the rest of the weekend near the Colorado River south of Moab revisiting some areas I haven’t been to in a long time, plus a few new places, too. We left town early on Saturday morning, drove through Kane Creek Canyon and then headed up to Hurrah Pass so we could watch the sunrise from the top before continuing on to the Chicken Corners Trail.

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Floating the Moab Daily Section of the Colorado River

Professor Valley: Hittle Bottom to Take-Out Beach | Colorado Riverway Recreation Area
Saturday, June 27, 2020 | Average CFS: 5,920

After spending all of last weekend moving into a new house, it was time to get back outdoors and on the river again! A couple weekends ago Jackson, Chris and I were hoping to float the Moab Daily section of the Colorado River through Professor Valley, but the weather and wind prevented us from doing that, so we thought this would be a good weekend to try again since the weather was looking much better. Although I have floated the ...
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Otho Natural Bridge & Mill Creek Canyon

Moab Winter Weekend: Arch Hunting & Ancient Petroglyphs
Saturday & Sunday, December 21-22, 2019

This weekend Diane and I headed over to Moab to search for arches and rock art, like we usually do at this time of the year. The weather can be unpredictable at the end of December, but we lucked out this weekend with comfortable hiking temperatures during the day and no snow or ice on the ground yet. I’ve wanted to visit Otho Natural Bridge for many years so I made that a priority this trip and we headed there first thing on Saturday morning. I ...
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Behind The Rocks

Christmas Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 22-23, 2018

After going on a day hike into the backcountry of Arches National Park last Saturday by myself, Diane and I planned a last minute trip to spend this weekend together around Moab. We drove over to Moab on Saturday morning and then went out arch-hunting, hiking, four-wheeling and just generally exploring the Behind The Rocks area west of Spanish Valley for the entire weekend. On Saturday I wanted to revisit a few nice arches that I had not seen since I drove through Pritchett Canyon way back in 2006, plus I ...
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Bartlett Flat to the Blue Hills

Return to the Yellow Comet Alcove
Saturday & Sunday, October 13-14, 2018

To be honest, I was planning on staying home this weekend after spending most of last week in Canyonlands National Park. However, Diane has been taking a pretty intensive online class for the last month and was finally caught up and wanted to get out hiking and camping this weekend, and since she hasn’t been out hiking since our backpacking trip to Kings Peak over Labor Day weekend, I couldn’t say no! We decided to stay closer to home and take a nice relaxing trip north of Moab ...
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Christmas Moab Weekend

Christmas Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 23-24, 2017

Since we were planning on spending our Christmas in Arches National Park like we do every year, we headed over to Moab on Saturday morning so we could spend the entire holiday weekend in the area. Earlier in the week when I was finalizing our rough plans for the trip I was expecting that there would still be none to minimal snow on the ground for our trip because even though there was a winter storm predicted toward the end of the week, I really didn’t think it would affect the ...
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Flat Pass Exploring

Saturday, February 4, 2017

On Saturday I was up early to meet Marty in Moab so we could spend the day exploring the area surrounding Flat Pass along Mill Creek and the Steelbender Trail. I was hoping to access a large petroglyph panel high on the wall of Mill Creek Canyon from above. I managed to time my drive to Moab perfectly so that I was driving through the Richardson Amphitheater near Castle Valley as the sun came up for the day. Of course, I stopped and took a few photos of the nice sunrise.

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Moab Rock Art Revisits

Saturday, January 28, 2017

This morning we headed over to the Moab area so I could bring Diane to a few rock arts sites that she had never been to and that I have also wanted to see again. It’s always nice to revisit some old friends! There really not much else to say about the day, so here are a few photos!

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Colorado River Canyon

Sunday, January 22, 2017

After spending Saturday at the Ouray Ice Festival, I decided to wake up early this morning to photograph sunrise at the Colorado National Monument. I headed over to the Devil’s Kitchen Trailhead and hiked up the Serpent’s Trail to a switchback overlooking Rim Rock Drive and No Thoroughfare Canyon to watch the sun come up.

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Dinosaur Stomping Ground

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I guess I’m not having much luck in Utah this year since both day trips I’ve been on so far have been shrouded in fog. When I checked the weather forecast for this weekend, it seemed that Sunday was going to be the nicer of two days, so I planned to stay home on Saturday and then go hiking on Sunday. It actually turned out that Saturday was the better of the two days since Sunday was foggy and cooler with some light rain and snow. It was pretty much opposite of what was predicted. We ...
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Jeep Arch (Gold Bar Arch)

Christmas Weekend in Moab | Monday, December 26, 2016

On Monday morning we checked out of our hotel in Moab and followed the Colorado River on the Potash Road until we reached the trailhead for Culvert Canyon (Dragonfly Canyon, Cameltoe Canyon) just before the mouth of Gold Bar Canyon. Our destination this morning was a short hike with some elevation gain up to Jeep Arch (Gold Bar Arch). I vaguely recalled seeing this arch about eight years ago when I took my Jeep Cherokee on the Golden Spike Trail, and I was looking forward to getting a closer look today ...
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Mary Jane Canyon

Professor Creek Falls
Saturday, June 11, 2016

It’s been a few years since we hiked up Professor Creek in Mary Jane Canyon and Diane has wanted to do it again since it’s one of her favorite hikes. It looked like this hike would be a great option for this weekend since we didn’t want to travel too far from home and it would be a good place to cool off with the hot weather we’ve had lately. I had checked the weather on Friday evening and the forecast called for sunny skies and low 90 degree temperatures which sounded pretty ...
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Pool Arch

Sunday, February 21, 2016

On Sunday morning I met up with Marty in Moab so we could hike into the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area to visit Pool Arch (also known as Teardrop Arch) and do a little more exploring in the area. We drove over to the mouth of Pritchett Canyon along the Colorado River and started hiking up the 4×4 road. We soon left the road and began to follow a narrow slot canyon that would take us pretty much straight to the arch. Much of the hiking was easy but there was one steep section near ...
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Moab Winter Weekend

Saturday & Sunday, December 26-27, 2015

We woke to clear skies but much colder temperatures on Saturday morning. I still wasn’t feeling too good this morning so we decided to visit the rock art along the Hidden Valley Trail. This particular hike is not too long and very close to town, plus I’d already hiked it a few times in the past and Diane was interested in visiting some new rock art this weekend. I also knew that this trail wouldn’t be too difficult with the fresh snow on the ground as long as we had our microspikes with us.

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Professor Creek

Mary Jane Canyon
Saturday, May 17, 2014

The hike up Professor Creek through Mary Jane Canyon has been on my to-do list for a few years now. It’s not that far from home for me, but every time I thought about hiking it things never seemed to work out. Either something else came up or it was too cold to hike through the water since I wanted to go on a warm day. Everything finally came together this weekend. Diane and I wanted to stay close to home and the temperatures looked great for a wet hike through a canyon ...
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President's Day Weekend in Moab

Saturday – Monday, February 15-17, 2014

For the long President’s Day weekend, Diane and I decided to spend the weekend around Moab. We had booked a hotel room a few weeks earlier and had no idea how nice the temperature would be this weekend. Unfortunately, thanks to the three-day holiday weekend and warm weather, Moab was a bit busier than it normally is this time of the year.

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Last Weekend Around Moab

Friday – Sunday, October 11-13, 2013

After an amazing day of weather and photography I woke up early again and decided to drive out to Dead Horse Point State Park so I could catch the sunrise this morning. It had been a few years since I’d been up there and they were offering free admission to anyone with a National Parks Pass while the National Parks were still closed. I was also hoping there might be some leftover clouds from the storms the previous day. When I arrived I was surprised to find that there were only a couple of ...
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Waterfalls & Rainbows

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What a crazy day! The weather was all over the place which made for some great dynamic conditions- perfect for photography! My camera sure got a workout today. It started out by raining all night. My tent kept me dry and the rain actually stopped when my alarm went off so I could get up and photograph the sunrise. I hopped in my Jeep and drove up the Sand Flats Road to the Castle Valley Overlook but the sunrise never happened. It was just too cloudy and another storm rolled in while I was up there.

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Lockhart Basin to Moab

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

After watching a very colorful sunset the previous evening and having a great night camping under the stars along the Lockhart Basin Road, I woke up shortly before sunrise so I could watch a beautiful sunrise over Hatch Point. It’s hard for me to decide if this sunrise was better than the sunset the night before since they were both outstanding!

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Marty's Moab Rock Art Tour

Moab Area Rock Art XXII
Saturday, December 1, 2012

On Saturday I drove down to Moab to meet up with Marty again for some hiking and exploring. He’s going to be moving to Grand Junction at the beginning of the new year, so we wanted to get at least one more hike in before he got busy with the move. Over the last year Marty had come across some new rock art sites while out exploring the area, so today he was going to show me some of them.

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Rock Art & Fall Colors

Moab Area Rock Art XXI
Saturday, October 20, 2012

This weekend, even right after my week-long trip, I was ready to get out hiking and exploring again. I figured that since I hadn’t been down to Moab for a while it might be a good time to get back for a day trip. Last year I spent some time exploring Mill Creek Canyon and wanted to get back to continue my search for rock art.

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Amasa Back

Saturday, March 3, 2012

After spending the last two weeks in the Chicago area, and not having been to Moab in almost a month (February is one of my favorite times to hike around Moab since the weather is usually nice and there aren’t any crowds yet), it was time for me to get back out into the desert for a long hike alone. I left home in the morning without any particular destination in mind, but by the time I reached Moab I had decided to hike out onto Amasa Back following the Cliffhanger Jeep Trail. This is actually ...
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Rained Out in Moab

Moab Area Rock Art XX
Saturday, January 21, 2012

I was up at 4am this morning so that I could make it to Marlboro Point before sunrise. With storms moving through the area, I was hoping for a colorful and dramatic sunrise…and I wasn’t let down! As I drove out onto the point, the eastern sky started to turn a dark pink on the horizon and I could tell that things were going to be good, so I hurried out to the end of the road. Shortly after reaching the overlook and setting up my camera the light show really ...
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Light, Clouds and Hiking Around Moab

Moab Area Rock Art XVIII | In Search of the Polka Dot Man
Saturday, January 7, 2012

After taking the first weekend of 2012 off to get a little rest, it was time to get back out there and start exploring again. I was up bright and early to drive to Moab so I could meet up with Marty and search for some new petroglyphs that I had been unable to find on two previous trips. On the way I was treated to an awesome sunrise and had to stop a few times to take photos.

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Private Property Rock Art

Moab Area Rock Art XVII
Monday, December 26, 2011

Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year I was off from work on Monday. What better way to spend the day than searching for more rock art near Moab? However, this was no ordinary Moab rock art trip; this time Marty had received permission from a friend of his so that we could access some petroglyphs from his private property.

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Hidden Valley & Moab Rim Loop

Moab Area Rock Art XVI
Saturday, December 17, 2011

On Saturday, Marty and I set out to hike the Hidden Valley and Moab Rim Loop. We had both hiked Hidden Valley before, and driven the Moab Rim trail in our Jeeps, but we both had wanted to hike the whole loop in one shot. Not only so we could enjoy the scenery on a nice winter day, but also so that we could revisit some rock art sites and hopefully find some new ones.

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Lunar Eclipse, Sand Flats & Mill Creek

Moab Area Rock Art XV
Saturday, December 10, 2011

I left my house early on Saturday morning so I could photograph the lunar eclipse just before the sunrise. I didn’t plan on going to any specific location, so I figured that I would stop somewhere between Grand Junction and Moab, since I was headed back to Moab again to search for rock art with Marty. As I drove west on I-70 I was able to watch the eclipse as the earths shadow grew larger on the full moon. When I reached the Yellow Cat exit I decided to get off ...
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Exploring Mill Creek Canyon

Moab Area Rock Art XIV
Saturday, December 3, 2011

After a great long Thanksgiving Weekend I headed back to Moab with my friend Jackson so that we could hike and search for some new rock art panels. I had high hopes of finding many new panels and was not disappointed!

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The Blue Buffalo & The Owl

Moab Area Rock Art XIII
Saturday, November 19, 2011

On Saturday I met up with my friend Marty near Moab so that we could revisit a few rock art sites and maybe find some new ones. We met up at the Courthouse Wash trailhead so that I could get some new photos of the Courthouse Wash Panel. The last time I was here it was sunny and the direct sunlight really washed out the pictographs. Since we were there early in the morning this time, everything was still in the shadows.

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Moab Maiden Night Photography

Friday, September 23, 2011

After work on Friday, Amanda and I headed down to Moab to meet a few friends at the Moab Brewery for a birthday party and some burgers. After dinner we hiked up to the Moab Maiden in the dark so that I could attempt some night photography there again. Here’s a few of my photos from the night.

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Exploring the Moab Area with Jim

Moab Area Rock Art XII
Saturday & Sunday, September 17-18, 2011

This past weekend I met up with Jim from the Rock Art group on Flickr since he was spending a week or two in Moab. Of course we went out and visited some rock art sites that he had not been to before, and he even brought me to a few sites that I had missed before.

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Summer Solstice Rock Art

Moab Area Rock Art XI
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I’ve been anticipating the Summer Solstice for much of the year so that I could visit the Solstice Snake petroglyph. For about two minutes on the Summer Solstice a dagger of light shaped like an arrowhead appears on the head of this very large and well executed petroglyph of a snake. I wanted to be there to get a photo of the sun interaction and am glad that the weather cooperated. It was an amazing experience!

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Stearns Wash Petroglyphs

Moab Area Rock Art X
Sunday, May 29, 2011

On my way home from the Comb Ridge area I decided to make an unplanned stop and hike up Stearns Wash in search of some petroglyphs. I had read that there were petroglyphs somewhere along Stearns Wash but I had no idea where. I figured I would just hike up the wash and would hopefully find them. Luckily, early in my hike I picked out a spot ahead of me that I thought looked like it might be a good place to search. Once I found the way there I was ...
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Mill Creek Canyon

Moab Area Rock Art IX
Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Sunday I headed back to Moab and met up with Marty again. This time we spent a few hours hiking around Mill Creek Canyon and searching for more rock art. Marty showed me the petroglyphs he had found previously, but we also managed to find a number of new ones, too.

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Finding the Solstice Snake

Moab Area Rock Art VII
Sunday, March 6, 2011

On Sunday I met my friend Marty who was going to hike with me to find the Solstice Snake petroglyph. I have been searching for this particular petroglyph for a while and was hoping to find it before this year’s solstice. Marty had visited this petroglyph about 14 years ago and wanted to return. He had a general idea of where it was located, but not an exact location. Luckily, his general location was close enough for us to eventually find it, even after going the wrong way and having to ...
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Yellow Comet Alcove

Moab Area Rock Art VI
Saturday, March 5, 2011

On Saturday, Jackson and I headed back to the Moab area to hike to the Yellow Comet pictographs. After researching a route to reach them, I found that there were two different ways down into the canyon. The closest route to the pictographs is supposed to be difficult to find if you don’t already know where it is, plus there is supposed to be a very tricky section that I didn’t like the sound of. Luckily, I managed to find another way down into the canyon, but the hike in the ...
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Hidden Valley & Behind the Rocks

Moab Area Rock Art V
Sunday, February 27, 2011

On Sunday the weather forecast called for 60% chance of snow in Moab. Grand Junction and Moab had the same forecast on Saturday as well, so I figured they would be wrong again and I made my way over to Moab. It was a good decision because it turned out to be a perfect day for hiking! I’m glad I didn’t stay home. My destination for the day was to hike the Hidden Valley trail into the Behind the Rocks area to find some petroglyphs. This trail has been on my ...
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Mill Creek, Kane Creek and the Bartlett Panel

Moab Area Rock Art III
Sunday, January 30, 2011

On Sunday I headed back to Moab to search out some rock art in Mill Creek Canyon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hike up canyon as far as I had hoped because the water was too high and it was pretty cold out, but I did manage to get to these boulders which are covered in petroglyphs.

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Kane Creek Canyon & Potash Road

Moab Area Rock Art II
Saturday, January 29, 2011

On Saturday, Amanda and I headed back to Moab in search of rock art. We headed to Kane Creek Canyon and climbed up a side canyon filled with petroglyphs. We ended up hiking all the way over to Pritchett Canyon. Here’s a few photos from our hike.

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Colorado River Gorge Petroglyphs & More...

Moab Area Rock Art I
Saturday, January 22, 2011

On Saturday, Amanda and I headed down to Moab to search out some new petroglyphs along the Colorado River, plus to revisit some that we’ve been to many times before. It always seems that no matter how many times I visit these areas, I always find something new. Here’s some photos of just some of the petroglyphs we found throughout the day.

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Even More Moab Rock Art

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Amanda had to work on Sunday, so I was on my own to find something to do. As I have been doing lately, I decided to head back to Moab in search of some more rock art. On my drive to Moab down the Colorado River Road, I was treated to an excellent sunrise. I just had to pull over and get a photo.

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Along the Colorado River Gorge

Saturday, December 18, 2010

After my detour into the Book Cliffs I was back on the road towards Moab for the rest of the day. The Colorado River Road was covered with snow so I didn’t make as good of time as I usually do, but I did stop for a few photos in Professor Valley on the way…

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Some more Moab Rock Art

Saturday, December 4, 2010

On Saturday morning, I awoke bright and early so that I could head back to the Moab area to find some more rock art. On my drive towards Moab, I was treated to an excellent sunrise over the La Sal Mountains. Here’s some photos from my day…

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More Moab Rock Art

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On Sunday Amanda needed to stay home and work on her homework all day, and she wanted me out of the house so that I would not bother her. I decided to hop in the Jeep and head towards Moab so that I could search for some more new rock art and visit some sites I had not been to in a few years. I’m not going to post a long detailed trip report on this one, I’ll just post some pictures I took throughout the day. Enjoy!

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Moab Arches and Rock Art

Southern Utah Wanderings 2010 | Day 5
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday…another day and another morning of waiting in the tent until the rain stopped. Luckily, once it stopped, the sky actually started to clear up and the sun came out as we were packing up camp. From camp we headed down the Colorado River to the trailhead for Corona Arch. This hike was on my to-do list for this year and I was planning on hiking it in November, but since we were here unexpectedly I figured it would be a good time to check it out. Our goals ...
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