Utah...again!!! - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
mtn.mom's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Armstrong, B.C., .
Interest: hikingbackpackingcrosscountry skiingsnowshoeing
Posts: 162
Default Utah...again!!!

After our first trip to Utah 2 years ago, we were hooked! A fantastic landscape so different than here, lots of room to roam, and warm sun in March...we had to go again! Spring break again this year provided 3 weeks to enjoy the area and this time we had the prerequisite High-clearance 4x4 to explore even deeper into the countryside!

Last time, I asked for suggestions of "what to see" and thankfully, people answered..."Too many Canyons" provided a great list that we have almost completed but now have our own growing "to do" list! Thanks again to you all for your suggestions!

An easy 2 day drive from the Okanagan landed us in Moab for a few days, where we acclimatized to hiking again. ( Just kidding...but we have sooo much snow here this year that our gait is permanently in snowshoe form!)

A short slickrock walk in the San Rafael Swell to the Black Dragon area was a great start and a great camp to start. The BLM ( aka forestry) land in Utah can be used for random camping in most areas and we ended up with some gorgeous camping "spots" throughout the trip.

A fun and easy hike to Corona and Bowtie Arch near Moab was next. Ohh, so nice to be back on the slickrock!

We then explored the Behind the Rocks/Hidden Valley area that extended behind our BLM camp. We watched a jeep do part of the route the evening before...amazing when you see the "route"!

Amasa Back was our destination for the another exploration. Known as a popular mountain biking route, it proved to be a great area to roam with absolutely awesome views!

A morning in Arches park in Courthouse Wash to Ring Arch completed our Moab stay and then back on the road to Needles overlook...a great drive accessible viewpoint and another great "camp"!

We spent 2 days in Comb Ridge exploring the many ruins/drawings of the 800 year old civilizations that inhabited this area. Amazing to see them in their natural state and often still very well-preserved! ( Even corn husks are still evident!)

A drive through the Valley of the Gods, a quiet small Monument Valley, was neat...trying to decide what the monoliths resemble! And of course, another beautiful camping area! A hike down the Honaker trail to the San Juan River was simply amazing...over 100 years ago, this trail was built by Honaker, who planned on accessing mines with pack animals. Unfortunately, this did not materialize, but the trail remains for us to marvel at his determination!

We decided to take just 1 Cedar Mesa hike this time ( we will of course return!) so McCloyd canyon it was! A fun slickrock road in, another awesome camp, and a great trail to a beautiful canyon and a huge 49 room ruins was great!

We now headed north on Highway 95 ( this trip was a very circuitous southern Utah drive) to a beautiful camp spot in Hite on Lake Powell. March is too early for houseboating etc. so the lake was quiet and the camp deserted. It looks like it would be an awesome kayaking spot...hmmm....add that to the " to do" list! We then stopped for a few hour slickrock scramble in Hog Springs...great fun adding route-finding to the mix! This hike is in the new Copeland Wow series on Utah...we found this a very useful guide though there are a few errors, it is a great guide to see the opinionated best of the area. Other guidebooks such as Kelsey provide better off the beaten track info!

Highway 276 took us south again to Bullfrog and then the Notom-Burr road again had us northbound amidst the Waterpocket fold towards Capitol Reef park, another stunning geological area! A great loop hike called Upper Muley Twist provided awesome ( I am running out of superlatives) red rock canyon experience and then incredible views of the area as a whole!

More driving along Wolverine road ( even the driving is fun...such incredible changing views) to Little Death Hollow trailhead. A fun slot canyon hike and a great petrified forest to explore at the Wolverine trailhead!

Now off to the real focus of this trip..the Hole in the Rock Road out of Escalante! A stop at Upper Calf Falls ( ooh, the water is cold!) and an incredible drive along Highway 12 before a stop at the Escalante BLM office for free permits to camp along the way.

A great camp at Sooner Rocks and then one of our most fun treks along Willow/Forty mile gulches to start this area! Lots of water, small chokestones and some basic route-finding for fun!

Slickrock walking along Davis Gulch with a little route-finding again was fun...and camping in an incredible wind ( Do you think the camper will fall over?) had us back to an Escalante motel for a day ( coincidentally when the NCAA basketball was on!) This provided us the perfect day in Phipps wash...another beautiful slickrock/sand wash with a fun scramble at the end!

And Phipps:

Back out Hole in the Rock to explore a drive-in area called Devil's Garden and the off to the well-known Peekaboo/Spooky/Brimstone slots with a crosscountry trek back to the trailhead.( I think we are getting the hang of this desert route-finding!)

Neon Canyon and the Golden Cathedral via Fence Canyon beckoned next...this looks like a great backpacking area for the future as you could hike along the Escalante canyon and explore a variety of side canyons. And of course for us, Coyote Gulch is still undone...another wellknown area for backpacking along the Escalante River!

Our last day took us into Red Breaks, a great slot canyon where we had to stem, and use a rope to help up over chokestones...lots of fun and challenging for us as we are not technical canyoneers!

And now the drive back to the real world...ah well, we will be back! A stop on Antelope Island in Salt Lake City and then head north to what...more snow!!!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 01:03 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: in da bush, alberta, Canada.
Interest: playing guitar,drums fly-fishing,hiking,scrambling,mountaineering
Posts: 1,073

Great pictures!!!

I was down in utah last summer but never got much of a chance to explore far from the road.

I want to go back sometime by myself and explore.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 01:07 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
Interest: Seriously active hiker/ mountaineer/ canyoneer
Posts: 2,269

Nice, and extensive, trip mtn.mom-glad you got some use out of the list (after 24 trips, mine has never gotten smaller).

I'm sure missing that part of the world right now (to the point of checking real estate prices in the Springdale area!)
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 04:44 PM
Summit Master
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Popkum, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, tai chi, meditation.
Posts: 6,099

Great pictures and report! Phooey on the snow
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 07:36 PM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Posts: 829

I'm running out of superlatives too, just looking at your pictures!

What an awesome way to spend three weeks! You've given me lots of food for thought: my "to do" list is growing as well.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 09:22 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Okotoks, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 1,891

Well my list for Utah just got a little longer...

This looks cool to explore.

p.s. love the retro camper!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 10:43 PM
Summit Master
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: , , USA.
Interest: Hiking, photography,
Posts: 3,988

Very nice! I can't wait to explore more and more into the state.
I have almost tapped out the local area. You take some great pictures!
I love Utah!! I want to get out this weekend to explore a canyon
north of here. so so many miles. did ya put about 700 miles on your vehicle just in Utah? wow! You did it the best way. Camping.
Me trying to whittle away at it as day trips is challenging.
Sound like I'm jealous? hehe you bet!!

You mentioned about room to roam...so true. You've really captured the essence of my hikes. So much open spaces! You guys sure covered a lot of ground. Glad you had a nice time.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 10:29 AM
Headed for the Mountains
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Stanwood, Washington, USA.
Interest: Hiking, Fishing, Hunting, Bee Keeping, and Wine Making
Posts: 344

What an awesome landscape. coincidentally I just saw a program on animal planet about some boy scouts that ran out of water in the grand canyon and one of them died before they could reach the river. That country has it's obstacles just as BC does.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Chilliwack, BC, Canada.
Interest: Women
Posts: 7,512

While digging around in the "This day in History" page I dug this awesome report up posted 5 yrs ago.
Always a delight finding reports like these, wish the date in History could go back many years futher ... After 5yrs they never get viewed... We need it going back 10yrs+ (dropdown menu)

I liked all the pics they look amazing, of a really cool place... I especially found these interesting:

The Petroglyphs looked awesome too.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 02:56 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 1,610

Nice trip report mtn.mom. I love the slot canyon pics.
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