Category Archives: San Rafael Swell

Farnsworth Canyon

The weather was perfect Saturday for a hike. I decided to hike Farnsworth Canyon and then find a bunch of geocaches that was put out recently. The drive out was nice and I was hiking by Noon.

It doesn’t take long before this canyon narrows up for a while.

It doesn’t stay narrow for long and widens up for the rest of the way.

It was nice hiking through this part. There were lot of rocks with holes and weathered rocks. I knew there were Indian writtings in here but I didn’t know where, so I just kept my eyes open and eventually spotted them.

I walked further up canyon and came to the first drill hole and then a fallen down miner’s shack.

At the end of the canyon was another drill hole. There was some core samples nearby and an old Pepsi can. This is where I turned around and headed back.

The hike out was nice because the sun was getting low and the canyon wasn’t in direct sunlight. I spent a lot of time taking pictures and just enjoying the solitude. I even found a rock with what I think could be a dinosaur fossil but I am not sure.


Getting back to the truck there was a cold Mountain Dew waiting for me and then it was on to find 30 geocaches. I was able to find 27 on the way back home. The geocaches were all near Old Dead Junipers and place about every quarter mile. It was getting old and was happy when I finally found the last one. It was a good day and it was nice to get out.

Link to more photos- Picasa Web Albums

Link to KML file- Fanrswoth Canyon


Moroni Slopes Loop

With it being Memorial weekend, I wanted to get out and go somewhere that wouldn’t be crowded. The family and I headed to the Mussentuchit Desert for an ATV ride. We staged near Mesa Butte and began our ride. The weather was perfect as we made our way toward Cedar Mountain.

After turning onto our first side road, we ran into a small herd of four horses. We also ran into the same herd on our way back later in the day.

Our first side road took us to an overlooking Johns Hole and Chimney Canyon. When we arrived the wind blew like crazy and wouldn’t stop for the rest of the day. We were able to find a nice sheltered place to eat lunch and still enjoy the view.

We returned on the same road and made our way between Cedar Mountain. I would like to come back and hike to the top of Cedar Mountain one of these days. Then it was onto Segers Hole. The road was long and somewhat boring but the view at the end was worth it. We looked at Segers Hole Dugway and no one wanted to drive down. It looked steep and loose rock on the road.

The road we took followed along the edge until it comes to Horse Heaven Flat and turned heading back. But before heading back there was another side trail we took to view down into Segers Hole. At the end of the road on the rim someone had made an awesome chair out of rocks.

The road lead us to another side road that headed past The Frying Pan and towards Black Mountain.

Turned around and headed out. We were starting to get low on fuel and tired from the long day’s ride, I didn’t take any more pictures. The ride through Carlye Wash was pretty cool. We rode to Red Point when the Honda 300 ran out of fuel but I had 5 gal. of extra fuel and we were on our way again. About 90 miles later and we were back at the trucks.
We didn’t run into another soul out here. We had the place all to ourselves. The road could easily be traveled in a high clearance vehicle but it was great to ride the ATVs. This is some awesome country and I hope to do some more exploring out here.

GPS Tracklog (Google Earth File)

GPS Tracklog (Google Map)


Posted by on May 26, 2013 in ATV, Desert, Outdoors, San Rafael Swell


Top of the Reef

I needed a hike and decided on hiking to the top of the reef from Smith Cabin and then down Horsethief Trail canyon. Well things didn’t go as planned.

I left home at 9 an was slowed down by all the traffic on the road. It was either mountain bikers, atv, or slow cars. I didn’t get to Smith Cabin until after Noon. There were two other cars parked here.

The first obstacle was a couple of dry falls but they were easily bypassed. This is were I ran into two guys from Colorado. They were hiking to the top as well and we would play leap frog the whole way.

Today was the hottest day of the year for me so hiking was slow. Every time there was a good shade spot, I had to take advantage as well as Rocky.

I made it to the top and up there was a pothole full of water. So I grabbed Rocky and soaked him. At first he didn’t like it but once it cooled him down he was happy.

The view was nice up top. While sitting there 3 planes flew past and one landed at the Mexican Mountain airstrip. I even spotted two hikers down in Spring Canyon. It was a busy day on the Swell.

I hiked North so I could spot Spring Canyon Arch.

Well I deviated from the plans here. It was a lot hotter than I expected so I had drank almost all of my water. I decided to just head back the way I came. The hike down was a lot easier.

When I got back to the truck, I noticed I left my cooler open and all my drinks were warm as well as my sandwich was soaked. So I drove into Green River to for a cold drink and a bite to eat at Ray’s. A nice end to a good day.


Wickiup and Cane Wash Loop

Last Saturday, I took another ride on the RZR. This time it was over to the Wickiup. I parked near a cattle guard along the Cottonwood Wash road.

I followed along the rocky road until I came to the Wickiup turnoff. I drove the loop clockwise, last time I went counter clockwise. The weather was great but halfway through it clouded up and sprinkled off and on.

The first somewhat rough section.

The trail starts wide and then narrows into a wash bottom. About half way the trail climbs up and then down into another wash, where it passes by the Wickiup.

After passing the Wickiup the trail narrows some more but it is still passable by Jeep.

Nearing the end of the loop, it was still early. I decided to take Cane Wash back to my truck.

Cane Wash went by fast and I was soon at the cutoff road, which led back my truck.

It was another fun day out on the desert. The weather didn’t play nice but it wasn’t too bad, it kept the dust down.

Google Earth Tracklog

Google Map Tracklog

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Posted by on April 13, 2013 in ATV, Desert, Outdoors, San Rafael Swell


Red Canyon

After spending last week up on top, I wanted to re-check out Red Canyon. The weather wasn’t very good, it was cold and windy. The ride out to the canyon was uneventful except for all the campers getting ready for Easter weekend. The trail is an easy road with great scenery. The first stop was at a mine near Family Butte. The place had an old miner’s shack that had fallen down as well as a chute coming out of the mine. It was too cold to go and explore the mine, so I just checked out the shack and an old car.

After eating lunch, I continued on with the loop. The trail climbed down into Red Canyon and here I passed two other vehicles, both Toyota FJ’s. The road in the wash had been bladed earlier in the year so the road was smooth. The road then follows in the wash and this was my favorite part of the ride.

The next stop was at the Lucky Strike Mine where there were two Jeeps already there. I explored the shacks and skipped over the mine. The wind was still blowing and I didn’t fell like climbing up to these ones either.

Soon leaving Lucky Strike The road climbs out of Red Canyon and follows along the base of the cliffs. The road here is great and offers some good views. About to the Muddy River, a large boulder had fallen onto the road but a truck could fit between it and the rock wall.

Before getting to the river was another mine that was sheltered from the wind so I hiked up to this one and checked it out. It had several openings and enough light to walk between them. It was fun exploring into the mine a little ways. The dogs had no problem at all in the mine.

After the mine it was a short distance to the river were we turned around and headed back out. The road passes the turnoff to Hidden Splendor and back towards Mckay Flat. And then back home. It was good day trip out, nice and relaxing out in the swell.

Link to more photos

Link to Google Earth KMZ

Link to Google Map

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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Desert, Outdoors, San Rafael Swell


Copper Globe and Link Flat

After my trip to Horizon Arch, I wanted to go back and explore some more. So on Saturday we set off from the same trailhead but kept heading East toward Link Flat. The road in had recently been graded so the riding was fast and smooth. The first stop was at a geocache we drove by last time in Kimball Draw.

The trail soon climbed out of Kimball Draw and down into Cat Canyon. This was a neat section to ride through. The canyon walls were high and the road was narrow. The next stop was at an old iron dam. This was a cool area with some big ponderosa trees.

We sat and had lunch here and then it was off to some amazing overlooks. The first stop was at a spot overlooking the Lucky Strike Mine. The road in was a little rougher but nothing serious.

Next stop was at a geocache that was placed close to edge on a small ledge. It was frightening grabbing this one.

After finding this cache we headed to another cache and overlook. Along the way, we ran into a small herd of horses coming from the overlook. It was neat watching them because they had to run close by.

Here is where we ran into a small problem. Dad’s atv wouldn’t start. We had to tear apart his ignition switch a few days ago because the key got broke off inside. So we figured that was the problem and tore into it. Nothing happened after looking at that. We were stumped, when dad took his seat off the battery cable was off. That was the problem, so we hooked the cable back up and everything was fine.

After fixing the problem we head toward Copper Globe. Here the road got a lot rockier and a bit more challenging. It was fun bouncing up ledges and then dropping down others. We ran into another herd of horses along our way.

Soon we were at Copper Globe. We had been here before so it was a quick look around.

After that we had a choice; ride back the way we came or head out on the paved Moore cuttoff road. The way back sounded a lot funner. So we turned around and headed back. We only ran into 3 other people in a group. All in all it was a great day, the ride was fun and the scenery was awesome.

Google Earth kml of the ride

Google Map link of the ride


Horizon Arch

On Saturday I took the RZR out for a ride. As usual I was out the door late and heading toward the Moore cutoff road. I parked near Lookout Point and unloaded my RZR. I turned off onto Salt Wash road and headed toward I-70. The road had been washed out in several places but there had been enough traffic that had made trails around it.

After crossing over I-70, I stopped to find a geocache and take a picture or two.

The road to Kimball Draw had been graded recently so the ride was fast going. While turning into Kimball Draw, I passed the only person I would see for the day. The trail followed in the wash and then split. One way heading to Horizon Arch the other Copper Globe. The trail to Horizon Arch followed the wash and then would climb out and then back in. It was a fun trail to ride along with a few minor obstacles thrown in.

I took one side trail to check out a large plastic covered pond. It was short and interesting to try and figure out why.

After that little side trip it was on to the arch. The arch is pretty cool and the views from it were awesome. You could see a lot of landmarks around. I found the nearby geocache and then hiked all the way around the arch.

After eating lunch, I headed back but took a different trail. This trail followed the rim of Cat Canyon and comes out in Kimball Draw. This trail was great fun, there were lots of ups and downs and banked turns. It reminded me of a roller coaster at times.

After reaching Kimball Draw it was a nice ride back. I even ran into some rock art the had a lot of graffiti on it.

It was a great ride and the weather was perfect. It was well worth the ride out and back. I hope to explore that area some more this year.

Link to Google Earth file

Link to Google Map