Dec 17 2012

Devil’s Canyon

Thanksgiving Day | Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

On Thanksgiving Day I got out of the house for a few hours and headed over to Devil’s Canyon for a nice dayhike. One of my friends had tipped me off about the location of a petroglyph in the area, so I decided to try and find it.

I had no problem finding the petroglyph I was looking for.

Round Man by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s a wider view showing the damage that was caused when someone tried to steal this petroglyph in the past. Thankfully they were not successful, though they left a scar that will never go away.

Damage by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finding the petroglyph I hiked the loop trail up Devil’s Canyon.

Devil’s Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Near the far end of the loop there is an old cabin.

Devil’s Cabin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

What a nice view from inside.

Dirty Window by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Inside the old cabin.

Inside the Cabin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finishing my short hike I made it back home just in time for some Thanksgiving dinner. It was nice to get outside for a few hours.

>> Devil’s Canyon Photo Gallery

Dec 10 2012

Fable Valley

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

On Saturday morning I was up and driving towards the Abajo Mountains well before the sun was ready to come up. My destination for the day was Fable Valley. I wanted to squeeze in a quick dayhike before snow would make the roads impassable and I wouldn’t be able to return until the spring. I had heard there was a specific pictograph panel I’ve been searching for hidden in the canyon and I hoped to find it this year.

There were some clouds and storms in the area as the sun came up. I happened to be driving in Indian Creek Canyon at the time and stopped to take a few photos.

Morning Storm by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great spotlighting.

Bridger Jack Spotlight by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Indian Creek Canyon Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Still some nice light as I started up Cottonwood Canyon.

Cottonwood Canyon Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Cottonwood Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I made a quick stop at this boulder containing some Ute petroglyphs. The last time I was here the light was terrible. This stop made up for it.

Ute Boulder Sunrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Rain or snow in the distance as I drove around the head of Salt Creek Canyon. I hoped these storms would stay away from the roads I was on, since things can get slippery very quickly.

Morning Storms by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
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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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Dec 2 2012

The Paria Plateau

Saturday & Sunday, November 10-11, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

For a little over a year now I’ve been pretty obsessed with exploring and photographing the unusual and spectacular sandstone formations of The Paria Plateau. I’ve been to Coyote Buttes North five times, Coyote Buttes South two times, and the White Pocket three times and have come back with some nice images and had a lot of fun. There is just so much to see up there I could probably spend a lifetime exploring the area and not see it all. Unfortunately, I feel it’s time for me to take a little break from this area so I can concentrate on exploring some other areas on the Colorado Plateau for a while. This will probably be my last trip report from The Paria Plateau for a little while. Don’t get me wrong, I might head back down there once or twice next year, but I certainly won’t be driving down six or seven times like I’ve done this past year.

After work on Friday, Amanda and I started our drive south down to Page once again. There were some pretty good storms moving through the area which slowed us down a little and gave us some very strong winds to drive through. We eventually made it to our hotel, just a little later than I had anticipated. We quickly got to bed so I could be up bright and early for the sunrise on Saturday morning.

Since I had no plans to get up super early and hike into Coyote Buttes North before sunrise, I decided to head over to Horseshoe Bend for the sunrise while Amanda slept in a little later at the hotel. I had the place to myself for the sunrise which was a pleasant experience. About 20 minutes before the actual sunrise there was a nice glow that lit up the sandstone.

Horseshoe Bend Dawn by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

My shadow on the golden sandstone as the sun rises behind me.

Long Shadow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I just love warm morning light on sandstone, which there is no shortage of here.

Sandstone Sunrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After returning to the hotel, Amanda and I had some breakfast and then drove over to the Wire Pass trailhead so we could start our hike to Coyote Buttes North and The Wave. This would be my fifth visit to the area and Amanda’s third. It was actually just one week over a year since we first visited The Wave together. It was pretty cold out and the wind was blowing pretty good, but it was turning out to be a great day for photography with plenty of clouds moving through the sky and constantly changing light, which are some of my favorite conditions!

As usual, we first hiked to The Wave to get a few photos before the shadows would get in the way. I actually climbed up above The Wave first for this shot.

Above The Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A typical Wave photo.

Lovely Lines by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look.

Lines & Curves by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Amanda took this photo of me before we moved on.

Cold Day at The Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Climbing up to the top of Top Rock I stopped for a quick photo of this formation that reminds me of a barber’s pole.

Barber Pole by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

My next destination was the intriguing sand dune alcove. I had spotted this alcove from above back in February, but didn’t have time to visit it then. I was looking forward to an in-depth visit and wasn’t disappointed! Here’s a view of the sand dune from inside the alcove.

Sand Dune Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

If you look closely at the top of the dune, you can see sand blowing off the top of it. It was very windy in this alcove, and it’s no surprise that a dune has formed in here. The stripe in the sandstone behind the dune is pretty cool, too.

Wind by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I spent some time inside the alcove photographing the interesting lines and shapes found here, and the reflected light created some nice warm colors. I just had to wait a few times when the sun went behind some clouds. Here’s a few of the abstract images I created inside.

Concurrent 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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