Thursday – Sunday, November 1-4, 2012
The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO
After work on Thursday evening I got in my Jeep and drove into Utah again. I had taken Friday off from work and was planning on meeting a group of friends in Beef Basin for a long weekend of camping and exploring the area. A few months earlier my friend Rob had tipped me off about a large petroglyph panel in the area he knew I would be interested in finding, and that was the beginning of planning for this trip. I arrived at our predetermined campsite in the dark and found Marty already there with his tent setup and a campfire already going. I was surprised to only be the second person there but knew the others would arrive shortly. Twenty minutes later Alex, Rob and his companions showed up. We sat around the fire for a little while waiting for the others, but headed to bed before anyone else arrived since we planned an early start for the following day. As soon as we were in our sleeping bags Jared and his brother Brian showed up. Later that night I heard Dave and his son pull up in their Jeep. We had all made it.
Friday morning I was up early and it looked like there might be a good sunrise, so I got in my Jeep to find a place to take some photos and ended up at a nearby ruin. I was hoping the sky would light up with color, but only the horizon turned a little pink.
Open Window by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
After returning to camp and waiting for everyone else to finish getting ready we got in our vehicles and drove over to the Fable Valley Trailhead. We were planning on exploring Gypsum Canyon following a route that Rob had planned out.
We started out hiking along an old closed road that followed the rim of the canyon. This is looking back at the confluence of the two upper forks of Gypsum Canyon.
Gypsum Fork by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Once the old road ended we were left scrambling and route-finding our way along the rim of the canyon and then across a small side canyon.
Looking down the canyon towards the confluence with Fable Valley from the rock we stopped at for a lunch break.
Down Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
We were looking for a way down into Gypsum Canyon at this point and thought we had found a way in. We even found a cairn that gave us hope of a way down. Things started off easy, but soon things got much steeper and loose. Most of us finished the descent into the canyon sliding down a very steep and loose talus slope that offered us no way back up to the rim of the canyon. In other words, we had to find a different way out.
Here’s Marty climbing down into the canyon when things started getting steep.
The Descent by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Once at the bottom, we started hiking upstream with hopes of finding an exit near the confluence of the two forks near the head of the canyon. What we found at the bottom was a beautiful canyon with a flowing stream and plenty of waterfalls. Of course, a few of those waterfalls gave us some trouble as we tried to hike upstream.
This is the first waterfall we came across, and also the first obstacle.
Plunge Pool by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Rob easily found a way to climb up next to the waterfall. While it was easy for him and almost everyone else in our group, I was not very comfortable on this section. I tried to find an alternate way around but was unable to. With the help of our group I was able to climb up the left side of the waterfall.
First Waterfall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
As we continued upstream we were treated to some remaining fall colors in the canyon.
Gypsum Canyon Color by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
A little further up the canyon we entered this nice narrow section.
Into the Narrows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Of course, these narrows led us right to a nice plunge pool with another waterfall that we would have to bypass. Luckily, we were able to backtrack out of the narrows and found a way up and around. Had the weather been warmer, this would’ve made a great swimming hole.
Swimming Hole by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr