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Snow / Bryce Canyon

May 20 was one of our travel days.  Our four days in Torrey / Capitol Reef had been cold and occasionally slightly wet. On the 20th, we woke up to find our truck (and pretty much everything else) covered with snow. When we arrived at Bryce Canyon, we found even more snow along with poor visibility. We didn’t stay long.

This was the view from the parking area of the Broken Spur. In addition to standard motel rooms, guests are also lodged in the covered wagons; it provides a “glamping” experience. We spoke with a fellow who was in one during the evening snowstorm. He said that they worked very well at keeping the weather out. I had hoped to see what they looked like inside, but when I walked around, I saw that they were locked up.  (As I recall, the canvas at the end of the wagon unzips.  Beefy looking padlocks keep them secure.)

Another view from the Broken Spur in Torrey:

Views from Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park:

Visibility was somewhat better from the parking lot / overlook for Fairyland Canyon (also within Bryce).

Capitol Reef – Spring Canyon

Marilyn and I hiked the Chimney Rock Trail into Chimney Rock Canyon and then a short ways into Spring Canyon. On the way back, I hiked a bit more of the Chimney Rock Trail and photographed the formation for which the trail and canyon got their names.

Capitol Reef – Cassidy Arch / Frying Pan Trail

Marilyn, Joe, and I visited Cassidy Arch on Saturday, the 18th. After seeing the arch, I hiked over to the Hickman Bridge Trailhead via the Frying Pan Trail and the Cohab Canyon Trail.

This is a view of the Grand Wash. The trail to Cassidy Arch begins shortly after entering the wash. A sign at the bottom indicates that there’s 950 feet of difference in elevation between that point of the wash and Cassidy Arch.  However, my GPS watch showed only and 800+ foot difference.

A view from near the start of the trail leading to Cassidy Arch.

Hikers in the Grand Wash below us:

Joe and Marilyn on the trail to Cassidy Arch:

Looking down at the road through the Grand Wash which leads to the parking area for hiking the Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch…

Fern’s Nipple:

The black hole just right of center below the horizon is Cassidy Arch.

A closer view of the Arch.  We still had a ways to go before reaching the arch – we might have been halfway there by that point.

Marilyn and Joe hiking across an expanse of slickrock before reaching the arch:

This is Cassidy Arch.  There is a woman in red sitting to the right of a tree above the arch. Below her, one of her companions is rappelling. Another of her companions told me that it’s a 140′ rappel. They had another six (or seven?) rappels to do before getting all the way down.

A closer look at one of the canyoneers:

The woman in red starts her rappel:

Joe told me about good views from the slickrock above the arch…

When I got back, I found that the rappellers had descended; they were in the process of pulling their rope when I took this picture.

I walked around the arch to find out what the anchors looked like. I first looked at the tree. I saw indications that the tree has been used as an anchor in the past. But I’m pretty sure that the group I saw earlier used these chains for their anchor.

Marilyn and Joe returned to our vehicle via the Cassidy Arch Trail. I, however, took the Frying Pan Trail to Cohab Canyon.

The trail gained even more elevation.

Great views…

I thought I was looking at Cohab Canyon here, but I still had quite a ways to go.

The trail led down and then back up again. At around this point, I went over a ridge after which a long descent eventually led me back to Cohab Canyon.

This, finally, is Cohab Canyon.

The orange flower appears to be a type of Globe Mallow. I don’t know what the purple one is.

Capitol Reef – Cohab Canyon

Marilyn, Joe, and I hiked out and back on the Cohab Canyon Trail starting across the road from Hickman Bridge. I hiked all the way down to the campground, whereas Marilyn and Joe chose not to lose the elevation that they had gained while hiking up the canyon.

This is a view of Cohab Canyon from part way up the side trail to the Fruita Overlook.

A view from one of the Fruita Overlooks.

The grooves in this rock caught my eye…

We came across some sections of canyon where the walls had lots of holes.

Looking out from the trail leading to the campground…

Back at the top of Cohab Canyon; looking down canyon.

Joe, Marilyn, and Kevin:

Another shot view of Cohab Canyon:

After hiking Cohab Canyon, we drove up to the Gooseneck Overlook.  This looks down into Sulphur Creek, which carved this channel. We had planned to hike Sulphur Creek on the following day, but ended up not doing it due to the wet and cold conditions.

We then hiked out to Sunset Point, which was accessible from the same parking area.

Capitol Reef – Egyptian Temple

On the 16th, we drove from Moab to Torrey. I didn’t take many pictures that day, but I did get out to photograph a formation known as the Egyptian Temple along the Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef National Park. I don’t know why we stopped for this formation in particular; it may just be that we felt the need to stretch our legs after the long drive. Prior to this stop we had driven to the end of the Scenic Drive and then into the Capitol Reef Gorge. We want to go back and hike some of the trails in the Gorge someday.

Shafer Canyon Road / Island in the Sky

Corona Arch

On our second full day in Utah, Joe and I hiked (out and back) to Corona Arch. The day before was hard, so we did an easy hike for our rest day.

Looking back towards the road and river:

Bowtie Arch on the left and Corona Arch on the right:

Bowtie Arch:

After passing beneath Corona Arch and scrambling up the ridge beyond, I took the photo of Corona Arch, above.  When I turned around, I saw this view of the canyon and other rock formations, below.

Prickly Pear blossom.  (Joe and I met a woman wearing a pink balaclava; she told us that she saw two unusual things. One was the Yucca stalk (or whatever it is) shown earlier in this post. The other was the prickly pear blossoms. For this area, I don’t think that either is that unusual. But it may be that they were unusual for wherever it was that she came from.)

The hike crosses these train tracks near the trailhead.  To the best of my knowledge, the trains traveling these tracks carry potash.

Canyonlands – Needles – Chesler Park / Joint Trail

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Bob, Marilyn, and I hiked 7.3 miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead…


Sandwash Groundsel:

A view from the Bluff Trail Wash:


I’m not sure what this is. Perezia/Brownfoot, maybe?

Velvet Mesquite:

Nearing the intersection of Pemberton and Bluff:

Views from the Bluff Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Kay and I hiked somewhat over 11 miles in the Tom’s Thumb area on Friday, May 3rd. We first made our way up past Gardener’s Wall and then close to Tom’s Thumb. We then hiked partway down Tom’s Thumb Trail and then down East End to Windmill. Once on Windmill, we concluded our loop by hiking Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, Marcus Landslide, and Feldspar.

An early morning view of Rock Knob (lower, left of center) from the Tom’s Thumb Trail:

Pinnacle Peak and Troon:

Gardener’s Wall; we made our way up beneath the boulders at bottom left, took a look at the bottom of Renaissance Direct, then went by (to the right) Fearless Leader, and Hanging Gardens (all of which are climbing routes).  We didn’t do these routes; we just looked at them.  I noticed some bolts on Fearless Leader, 5.10a, that weren’t there when I tried it back in the early 90s. We continued right along the base of the wall and then made our way up the drainage at the right.

The spot in the sky might be one of the powered paragliders that we saw coming over the ridge later on.

One of the scenic landmarks along the climber’s access trail to Gardener’s Wall:

Kay, making her way up through one of the early “tunnels”.

This is the next cave / tunnel that we encountered. We went in and then left to get to the bottom of Renaissance Direct.

As we made our way along the base of the wall, we saw two powered paragliders. They came over the ridge to which we were hiking.

We’re on the back side of Gardener’s Wall now; this is a view of Glass Dome.

Flat-Top / Mojave Buckwheat:

Gila Monster:

Kay thinks this is the tail end of a kingsnake; I didn’t get to see it’s head, it was already part way off the trail by the time I got to it.

A view from the East End Trail:

Ocotillo blossom:

Prickly Pear:

Heading down Coachwhip…

Saguaros on the Coachwhip Trail:

Buckhorn Cholla blossoms; we saw different colors on our hike, some yellow, some orange, and others closer to red.

The saguaros are starting to bloom too!


More Buckhorn Cholla blossoms…

Mexican Poppies:

New Mexico Thistle:

A prominent pinnacle in the Granite Ballroom area. Off to the left, in the distance, high on the ridge, is the Thumbnail Pinnacle.

Miniature Woolystar, I think:

Prickly Pear blossoms:

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