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.
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.
I did the Druid Arch Trail last week in Canyonlands, an excellent trail out to a lone arch hidden deep in the Needles District. The trail followed Elephant Canyon, a particularly scenic canyon that wove through big stands of sandstone spires. At the far end of the canyon, the trail climbs into a big bowl, with a nice lunch area, and amazing view next to the arch. I loved this hike and recommend it.
I spent a nice afternoon on the Confluence Trail earlier this month while in Canyonlands. This was a nice trail that went out to a overlook above where the Green and the Colorado Rivers converge. Along the way I had good views of other parts of the park, including Island in the Sky and the Maze, while enjoying a lesser seen part of the Needles District. Overall, this was a good hike, and I enjoyed it a lot.
I hiked through the Needles District of Canyonlands earlier this month, doing the wonderful Joint Trail loop in Chesler Park. The Joint Trail explored a deep fracture in the rocks, and was really cool. The crack was nearly a half a mile long, and just wide enough for a person to walk through, much like a narrows. This was a long day-hike, with a fair amount of gain, but a great loop, and a lot of fun.
A couple weeks ago, I did the wonderful Murphy Trail in Canyonlands National Park. I did this hike in two parts, a short 2 mile hike out to the Murphy Overlook, and then a long loop through the Green River basin. The trip provided wonderful views over the east side of the park, including White Rim Canyon, the Maze and Candlestick Butte. The loop portion included a steep descent down the Wingate Cliffs, and a long climb back up at the end of the day. Despite the strenuous climb, however, the extended loop was very scenic, and provided great access to quieter parts of the Island in the Sky District.
I stopped into Bluff, Utah, last night, for their Winter Solstice Burn, a small community event that included Native American songs, dancing and storytelling. The evening was capped off with the burning of an massive coyote sculpture. Pretty cool! Continue reading “Bluff, Utah – Winter Solstice Burn”
Last week I did the amazing Lathrop Trail in Canyonlands National Park. This trail climbed all the way down the Wingate Cliffs, with a spectacular traverse at the edge of the mesa. At the bottom, I enjoyed a lunch at the beautiful White Rim Canyon. The climb back out of the canyon was long, including 1,200 feet of switchbacks up the canyon wall, but I had soaring views over the park and it was an amazing climb. Altogether, this was probably my favorite trail out of Island in the Sky, and I highly recommend.