Muley Point

The view from Muley Point

Of all the places I camped during my trip through the American Southwest, Muley Point was probably my most favorite.  It included an awesome drive up Moki Dugway, a long set of switchbacks carved into the towering cliffs of Cedar Mesa, and Muley Point itself was an amazing overlook, with views over a mind-blowing desert landscape.  I spent one night here, sleeping out on the rocks under the stars, a simple affair, just a dinner, a sunset, and a pretty view, but it was also one of those near perfect evenings that I will remember with great fondness for many years.

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Hovenweep National Monument – Square Tower Loop

Hovenweep Castle

I spent a night in Hovenweep National Monument last January, checking out the amazing ancenstral Puebloan ruins there.  This place was fascinating, with intricately built stone towers, some over 700 years old.  We’re still discovering  who built this village, and how these building were used, but the craftsmanship suggests a highly sophisticated society.  Still, many questions remain.  All this aside, Hovenweep was an excellent place to visit.

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Goblin Valley State Park

I stopped in at Goblin Valley State Park in Southern Utah, a few days back.  This is a small park off Highway 24, somewhere between Capitol Reef and Green River.  It had great campground, complete with a frisbee golf course, and a bunch of crazy goblins.  The valley was really cool, with lots of side canyons to explore.  It’s a good park, and I enjoyed my afternoon here.

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Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire, sign at the west entrance

I spent a few nice days in Valley of Fire State Park last month.  Valley of Fire is in an hour east of Las Vegas, and known for its magnificent red rock formations.  These rocks are beautifully wind eroded, and lots of fun to climb.  I spent a whole afternoon just exploring the rocks around my campground.  The next day I checked out Fire Wave and White Domes trails.  These trails went through some spectacular geologic areas, with wavy strata, colorful hills, and more.  Valley of Fire was an excellent park and a great stop.

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Mystic Hot Springs

Deborah and I spent a couple nights at Mystic Hot Springs, just outside of Monroe, Utah, last week.  Mystic is a rustic hot-springs, with hot pools, pretty views, and a generous dose of Grateful Dead paraphernalia.  The retreat has two large pools, one hot and one warm, plus a scattering of up-cycled bathtubs tucked into the sagebrush, all of which are fed from natural springs in the hills above the grounds.  Accommodations were simple, with a campground and handful of cabins, plus a few converted (and whimsically painted) buses fitted with beds and electricity.   We had a nice quiet stay during our mid-week, off-season visit, and Deborah and I both loved the pools and view over the Monroe Valley.

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Cathedral Gorge State Park

I spent a night at Cathedral Gorge State Park, in Nevada, while driving down Highway 93, between Great Basin National Park and Las Vegas.  Cathedral Gorge was a little gem of park, with and eroded gorge reminiscent of Bryce Canyon.  There is a small system of trails, some cool “cave” features, and a decent campground as well.  I really enjoyed Cathedral Gorge, and would recommend it to anyone traveling through this part of Nevada.

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Symes Hot Springs

Stopped by Symes Hot Springs yesterday in Hot Springs, Montana. This was a resort style hot springs with outdoor pools, and an indoor tub room. The site included a historic hotel, with many amenities, albeit fairly rustic, including a small café, restaurant, and tent and RV camping. It is a popular spot among the locals, who add plenty of flavor to the place.

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