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Category Archives: Desert

Old Woman Wash

On Saturday, Dad and I went on hike to Old Woman Wash in the San Rafael Reef. To find a geocache that had sat since 2012 with only one find. I came across Udink’s trip report and he had hiked to some nearby pictographs that looked nice. He didn’t post exactly where the writings were but it gave me a general idea of where to start. We arrived at the trail head at 10:30 and began hiking. Instead of going up Old Woman Wash, we backtracked a ways to an old mining road that lead us into the reef.

Once we crested the hill, I knew the writings were somewhere in the valley. So we started scanning the cliffs and was able to spot the Ekker Panel. It was a neat panel with some faded pictographs and a few petroglyphs.

We then followed a side canyon that lead us down into Old Woman Wash. Here again I knew there was some petroglyphs in this side canyon, so I Kept my eyes open and I did happen to spot them, only after passing them.

Once in Old Woman Wash, I was able to spot another panel, High Alcove.

We then continued on up the canyon towards the geocache. There was a lot of water in the canyon today and a lot of little frogs. Every time we would stop we would be able to spot a few frogs hopping away.

We finally were nearing the end of our hike when we came to pool and a boulder obstacle to get around. Trying not to get wet we had to cling to the walls to get around the pool, almost falling into the water, and then the climb over the boulder wasn’t too bad. Due to the water I left my larger camera back but took a few photos with my cell phone. After finding the geocache, we continued up the canyon until it ended at a large dryfall.

The hike back out seemed to go more smoothly then our hike in and we was able to reach the side canyon we entered in good time. We then began to look for another rock art panel and was able to find this one as well. The problem was it was in direct sunlight and washed these faded pictographs out. There were even some old names carved into the walls nearby.

It was then about another mile back to the truck. Halfway out, we ran into three other hikers going to see the writings. The stroll out was an easy sandy wash bottom back to the truck.

After getting back around 4:30 we followed the road South as it paralleled the reef. We made it a short ways until we came across a washout. We didn’t feel like doing any digging so we backtracked to Hwy 24 and headed home.

What a great day, I found all the Indian Writings that I went looking for and hiked up a nice canyon. The weather was perfect and the trees were starting to change colors. In total we hiked about six miles in six hours but we took our time enjoying the great scenery.

Photo Gallery: Old Woman Wash

GPS Track: Google Earth KML

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Dead Horse Point

For the Labor Day Weekend I took Friday off and went down to Dead Horse Point. I was hoping to beat the crowds by going on Friday. I made it to the Moab area in good time and was happy with the lack of people. I have only been to Dead Horse Point once when I was too young to remember a whole lot about it. The view was great and hiked along the trails for a little while. After leaving DHP I went into Moab for lunch. I ate at Eddie McStiff’s. Once done with lunch the hoards of people were out in force. I decided to call it a day and head back home. I took the Colorado River road back to I-70 stopping at the Fisher Towers for a short break before heading home.

Monitor and Merrimac

Dead Horse Point

Fisher Tower

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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in Desert, Hiking, Outdoors

 

Spring Canyon ATV Ride

Clear back on April 15, I took a fun four wheeler ride. We left early in the day and stopped in Green River for some breakfast. Then followed the old highway 6 to the end and staged at a gravel pit just off of I-70.

We drove down the dirt roads finding some geocaches along the way. Our first major stop was at Dripping Springs crossing.

It was an interesting spot and after a few pictures we rode out to Secret Spire. Found a geocahce and hiked around some.

The next stop was across the canyon at Dallenbaugh Tunnel. But to get there was a rough road that went around the canyon. Along this road we ran into our first group of people. There was three built Jeeps just leaving the Tunnel. The tunnel is kind of hidden but a short hiking trail lead us right to it.

We then took a different route out. It was another jeep trail and it had lot of rocky sections and a fun high speed whoop section. At one point along the road we were up high in the cliffs and we could see the road below us and kept wondering when is road going to make its way down. We then came to a real steep section that was just sandstone leading down. I really had a good time on this road.

After getting back on the main road, Dad’s four wheeler started to backfire then died. We tried to start but it wouldn’t start. So we pulled the fuel line and a bunch of dirt came flowing out. Somehow his bike sucked in some dirt. After clearing the lines it fired up but still gave us problems once in a while. We debated on whether to turn around or keep going but decided to chance it.

We made it to the top of Spring Canyon and it was a nice view. The road is along a shelf with quite the drop off on one side. I thought this was a cool road. Once we made it to the bottom we stopped in the shade of a group of trees and had lunch.

From there we followed the trail toward Hey Joe Canyon. This is where the trail got really rough. I hit bottom of my Rzr way to many times. We didn’t make it all the way to Hey Joe. We made it as far as the Launch Marguerite inscription before deciding to turn around because Dad’s ATV was still giving us trouble.

After turning around we made it back to the top without any incidence. We then followed the main road to the Dubinky Well and I couldn’t believe how big the windmill was.

Afterwards we headed back for the trucks. It started to rain off and on until we got back to the trucks, I was glad I had a windshield and a roof. We stopped back in Green River for dinner then headed home. It ended up being about a 96 mile ride and was a blast.

Update: Dad’s ATV got worse after getting it home. We ended up tearing the carb apart twice to clean it and then buying a rebuild kit. As well as pulling the fuel valve out of the tank and cleaning the screens. Now it runs better than before.

Photo Gallery: Spring Canyon ATV Ride
GPS Track: Google Earth KML

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in 4X4, ATV, Desert, Geocaching, Outdoors

 

Grotto Canyon and Horse Heaven Arch

On Sunday, Dad and I hiked Steve Allen’s Grotto Canyon loop trail in the Northern San Rafael Reef. The Tidwell Draw road out to the trailhead was in rough shape. It was the worst I have seen it in. I had to use four wheel drive a couple times to get through washouts. But we finally got to the trailhead at 11:30. The trail starts out kind of unremarkable.

After a short distance it gets better and the canyon deepens.

Once it narrows up there was a pothole we couldn’t make it past so we had to backtrack and climb out of the canyon.

After climbing back in it narrows up again nicely. We stemmed over two pools but was stopped by a third but the end was within sight.

The narrows end at a large dryfall so we backtracked and climbed out. We then hiked past the dryfall and climbed back in the canyon.

Just after dropping in there was a leaning rock barely balancing on a small rock.

We headed up canyon for a short way, then climbed out and hiked North over to an old cowboy cabin.

After the cabin, we continued North into another canyon to see Horse Heaven Arch.

After seeing the arch we backtracked and headed down canyon. This canyon had a lot of potholes full of water.

There is one big dryfall but it is easily bypassed.

This canyon took us back to the trailhead and finished our loop. It took us 5 hours and was a bit over 5 miles long. The weather was perfect plus we had the area all to ourselves. Good day.

Photo Gallery: Grotto Canyon

GPS Tracklog: Google Earth KMZ

 

East Cedar Mountain

East Cedar Mountain has been on my list for a long time. I first read about it Michael Kelsey’s book. So finally I decided to give it a shot on Sunday. I drove down to Emery and then took the Miller Canyon road down to I-70. From there it was all dirt roads to Cedar Mountain. The drive in was nice, no traffic and fairly smooth roads.

I got to my desired parking spot and the wind was blowing really hard. I sat there debating whether to go or just ride around. I finally talked myself into doing it. The plan was to walk up the ridge line but staying on the South, just below the ridge cut the wind down quite a bit. The hike up was steep and lots of boulders. It took about an hour forty five to reach the top.

I wanted to go further but the peaks were steep and loose rocks all around. Plus huge dropoffs all around so I didn’t want to chance it and turned around. The hike down was quicker because I didn’t have to take as many rest breaks.

After getting back to the truck, I sat there and ate my lunch consisting of a salami sandwich and mountain dew. I took a different way home. I was headed for the Lonetree Crossing and Salt Wash. I did take a wrong turn once but it didn’t take long to figure out I was in the wrong spot. The bridge was a lot narrower than I thought it was going to be. After the crossing I drove down I-70 and through Buckhorn Draw to home.

It was a good hike but the wind was a nightmare. If I got out on the North side ridge it felt like I was getting blown off the mountain. Now I can scratch that off my to do list.

Photo Gallery: East Cedar Mountain

GPS Tracklog: Google Earth KMZ

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Desert, Hiking, Mountains, San Rafael Swell

 

Coal Cliffs Revisited

I had told my dad about my last rip to Coal Cliffs and he wanted to go out there since. So on Saturday we headed out there. We stopped at the same places as before. The first stop was at an old abandoned coal mine. We hiked down to the portal but it had been collapsed. We were able to go under some of the rockfall and follow a small seam a short distance.

Next we went over to the vent. It was still putting out heat and noxious fumes.

After that we headed over to a radio tower witch was near the edge. It was a little ways over to the edge and we could look down onto I-70. We sat there for a minute and was able to see several mule deer run by on top.

It was a good time getting out and riding into the desert. The weather was perfect, the temperture was in the lower sixties, good time to be out.

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Posted by on January 28, 2015 in 4X4, Desert, Outdoors

 

Arches National Park

On the 28th I headed down to Arches for the day with my sister and her boyfriend, who has never been to Arches. We had left at 8 and got to the park at 10:30. Next time I hope to leave earlier. We stopped in the visitor center and had a look around. It is really nice inside and worth a quick look. First stop was at the Moab Fault. This had a nice view over the visitor center.

It had been some time, over ten years, since I have been to Arches. So we stopped at most of the roadside stops. Some places I don’t ever remember stopping at before. Like Park Avenue, I don’t think I have been to this little view before.

Next stop on our journey was the LaSal viewpoint.

We then stopped at Balanced Rock and walked around. We followed the trail around Balanced Rock.

After Balanced Rock, we drove past everything else to hike to Landscape Arch. I figured this time of year there wouldn’t be very many people and up to this point there weren’t. But at Landscape Arch every parking spot was taken so we ended up parking quite a ways away. And on the trail We ran into hordes of people. A lot of foreigners, some from Germany, India, and a lot of Asians. It was a elbow to elbow at the end near Landscape Arch.

This guy was eating ice as everyone took his picture.

He even followed us in.

Landscape Arch

Tunnel Arch

Pine Tree Arch

After that experience, it was starting to get late. So we headed for Delicate Arch. It was about 2:30 when we headed up. The hike in was good until we reached the ledge section of the trail. Here it is in shade most of the day and the trail became icy and slick. But with only a few slips and bruises we made it to the arch. Here there were lots of tourists waiting for the perfect shot. Luckily there weren’t many standing under the arch and I could get a few pictures without anyone in it.

Wolfe Ranch

Wolfe Ranch Petroglyphs

Trail up.

Delicate Arch

After getting back to the car it was 4:30 and the sun was going down fast. So we headed towards the Window section and got there in time before the sun went completely down. Lots of people here as well.

South Window

Turret Arch

The plan afterwards was to head into Moab for dinner but we got in a very long line of cars and everyone was heading for Moab. So instead we decided to go into Green River for dinner. After dinner the ride home wasn’t very fun. The snow started coming down heavy which lead to slow driving speeds into Price. It was a good trip and I look forward to doing it again in the spring or fall.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Desert, Hiking, Outdoors