Dec 7 2012

Upper Antelope Canyon

Veterans Day | Monday, November 12, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

After spending a great weekend exploring The Paria Plateau it was time to start our drive back home. Before we left I thought it might be a good idea to finally check out Upper Antelope Canyon. I’ve seen plenty of photos from this well-known location but have always avoided it because of the large crowds of people that visit. I was hoping that since this was the “off season” it wouldn’t be too busy. Was I wrong! There were quite a few different groups of people in there. I was expecting there to be other people in the slot canyon, so I had prepared myself for it and wasn’t too bothered by it. I just planned to take most of my photos looking up out of the slot where other people wouldn’t get in the shot. However, what really frustrated the hell out of me was that many of these people were taking pictures with their point and shoot cameras that used a red focus-assist light that ruined most of my shots. Upper Antelope Canyon may be one of the most beautiful slot canyons in the world, but I highly doubt that I will ever be returning. It’s just not worth it to me.

Here’s a few of the photos I was able to get while I was in the slot canyon.


Enter by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Light Stripe by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Upper Antelope by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Chamber by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Swoosh by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Antelope Passage by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Up by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As I was leaving the canyon, this section of sandstone caught my eye. I liked the way the light and shadows interacted here.


Sandstone & Shadows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
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Nov 26 2012

Beef Basin & Gypsum Canyon

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
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Nov 28 2010

Wild Horse Canyon

Saturday, November 27, 2010

On Saturday, Amanda and I headed west to the San Rafael Swell so we could go for a hike in Wild Horse Canyon. Before reaching our destination, we stopped by the pictographs along Temple Mountain Wash.

We eventually made our way to Wild Horse Canyon. We hiked up the canyon in search of some more pictographs….which I found high up in an alcove.

Next we scrambled out of the canyon and found the Wild Horse Window (Skylight Arch)

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Nov 22 2010

November Ruins & Rock Art | Friday & Saturday

Friday & Saturday, November 19-20, 2010

This last weekend was our annual November trip to the Cedar Mesa / Comb Ridge area. We set out to check out some new ruins and rock art during the weekend and we were not disappointed. On Friday we both got out of work early and headed south to Blanding. On our way we made a quick stop at the Dewey petroglyph panel for a few quick photos before it got dark.

On our way towards Monticello I noticed a nice pink glow over the La Sal Mountains as the sun was setting, so I pulled over to take a quick picture.

Right after I took that photo, the pink glow disappeared.

After dinner in Monticello we finished the drive to Blanding, checked into our hotel (we’re not into cold weather camping) and got to sleep so we could get an early start the next morning.

We were up well before the sun was to rise on Saturday morning and on our way to Cedar Mesa. Our first destination for the day was Road Canyon, and we arrived at the trailhead just after the sun had come up. Here’s a few photos from our hike through Road Canyon…

Fallen Roof Ruin was high on my list of ruins to hike to, so that was our first stop

Fallen Roof

Amanda and I

We continued on down Road Canyon a little further to find a few more ruins.

These ruins had a real ‘fallen roof’

I climbed up to this well preserved granary

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Nov 2 2010

Winter Camp Slot, Sego Canyon & More

Sunday, October 31, 2010 (Halloween)

On Sunday I was on my own again and didn’t want to get too far from home. I decided to head over into Utah to do some more exploring around the Yellow Cat and Highlands areas just north of Arches National Park. I started out by checking out a few trails around Lost Spring Canyon before making my way over to Winter Camp Ridge. In the spring I had started to look for a short slot canyon in the area, but didn’t have the time to complete the search. This time I knew exactly where I was going and took the short hike down into the Winter Camp slot canyon.

Different color on each wall of the slot

After finishing up the hike I had a quick lunch and then headed north towards the Book Cliffs.

View across Sagers Flat with the La Sal Mountains in the background

It seems that I end up visiting the Sego Canyon pictographs and petroglyphs about once a year, so I figured I would keep up the tradition…

Some Barrier style pictographs

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