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Sand Flats Recreation Area Trip Reports

Trip Reports from the Sand Flats Recreation Area, Mill Creek Canyon WSA, Grandstaff Canyon WSA and Porcupine Rim areas.

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 ...

Moab Meanderings: Moab Area Rock Art XXXX

Saturday, February 11, 2023

After spending last week around southern Arizona, I was looking to stay a little closer to home this weekend and figured a day trip to Moab in search of rock art was in order on Saturday. There is a very nice petroglyph panel that I’ve been looking for on and off for about twelve years now, so I thought it was time to finally continue the search for that one again since I thought I might have a good idea where it was this time. I left home early on Saturday morning, arrived in Moab shortly ...

The Needles Overlook & Slickrock Bike Trail

Saturday & Sunday, January 25-26, 2020

After spending a couple hours at the Ouray Ice Festival in the morning it was time to head west into Utah so I could get some hiking in the desert in this weekend. From Ridgway I crossed the Dallas Divide and followed the San Miguel River to Norwood, then crossed a couple large valleys and the Dolores River on my way to Dove Creek and finally stopped in Monticello for an early dinner. From there I was originally planning on heading into The Needles for the evening and was thinking about hiking the short ...

Otho Natural Bridge & Mill Creek Canyon

Moab Winter Weekend: Arch Hunting & Ancient Petroglyphs
Moab Area Rock Art XXXIV | 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 ...

Flat Pass Exploring

Moab Area Rock Art XXVIII | 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 ...

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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Last Weekend Around Moab

Moab Area Rock Art XXIV | 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 ...

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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Marty's Moab Rock Art Tour

Moab Area Rock Art XXIII | 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 XXII | 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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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 ...

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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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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Hells & Things

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today, Amanda and I headed to the Sand Flats Recreation Area just outside of Moab. Our goal was to run the Hells Revenge and Fins & Things trails. It has been a few years since I have run either of these trails, so it was about time to run them again.

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Windy & Dusty on the Porcupine Rim

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday was the start of my final weekend in Moab this trip. I decided to go on another official trail ride and tag along with Jared who was leading Porcupine Rim. Only about eight Jeeps showed up for this trail ride, which I thought was good. However, this trail turned out to be very very bumpy and it took us longer that we had planned to complete the trail. Not to mention that we also missed a turn and passed up the loop we were planning on taking by a few miles. The night before, the ...

Hells Revenge & Moab Rim

MoabCO Trip 2006
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

On Tuesday, I headed out with a group of friends to run Hells Revenge just outside of town in the Sand Flats Recreation Area.

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Steel Bender, Bull Canyon & Potato Salad Hill

MoabCO Trip 2006
Monday, May 1, 2006

After spending the weekend in Grand Junction running some of the toughest trails around I continued on to Moab and arrived Sunday evening. I was meeting some friends here later in the day, but would have the morning and part of the afternoon to myself so I started out by exploring the Steel Bender trail on my own.

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