The Wave and Buckskin Gulch, Coyote Buttes North

Finally after six days of trying to get a permit for The Wave I was successful with lucky number 12, on Saturday, June 20th. The Wave, located within the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, is the premier photographic destination in the US Southwest. Only 20 permits per day (10 on-line and 10 walk-in) are available and demand far exceeds supply, so I was ecstatic when number 12 was drawn on my sixth day of getting up at seven to be there early to pick my lucky number. On June 21st, Father’s Day, we were heading out to see The Wave at 6 am from Kanab. We watched the sunrise as we drove along US-89 to the turn off for House Rock Valley Road, and drove 8.4 miles to the Wire Pass Trailhead, which is the gateway to some spectacular scenery and hiking, including The Wave and Buckskin Gulch. It’s a six mile round trip hike in required to get to The Wave, and there are a small number of cairns along the way. We started our hike to The Wave by signing the trailhead register and crossing House Rock Road to follow the Wire Pass wash for a half mile to a sign marked Coyote Butte North on the right. It took us about 90 minutes to get to The Wave, and the light was still perfect, you want to be there just after sunrise, to get great photos of all the beautiful sandstone formations and colors in The Wave. We were fortunate to have The Wave all to ourselves for a short time, and then there were only six other people who showed up while we were there. Continue reading

Southwest Adventures, Kanab Utah

On June 13th, 2020, we arrived at the Grand Plateau RV Resort, Kanab’s newest RV Resort, in Utah, for an extended stay of 3 weeks. Every morning I went to the gym in Kanab to try and get permits to the Wave and when I wasn’t successful we went to discover other beautiful places in the area. One day we drove to Alstrom Point, “The Path less Travelled”, in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. From Big Water, Utah we drove the scenic 4×4 dirt road with Hoodoos and other geological features along the route before reaching the last 3 miles, where the fun began, as Bob guided our Jeep on a technical 4WD rocky section arriving at the remote Alstrom Point. Alstrom Point has a magical view overlooking Lake Powell. The blue water of Lake Powell contrasts with the red rocks and the canyons all around us, as far as you could see makes for a special place. At the overlook we enjoyed the sweeping views of winding Lake Powell and wind-eroded sandstone formations like hoodoos, we couldn’t get enough of this magnificent view. Continue reading

Utah 2019

We left Oceanside on April 15th and headed north, our first stop was Cedar City, Utah. We stayed at the KOA in the city for a few days while we went sightseeing. We visited the Perowan Gap Petroglyphs that are thought to be the work of several cultural groups of Native Americans several centuries ago. The meaning of the designs is still unknown. The Gap is nationally recognized as a “superb gallery of Native American rock art.” We saw geometric designs, images of lizards, snakes, mountain sheep, bear claws and human figures; artwork that was pecked into the rock on the smooth canyon walls of the pass. We also stopped at the Dinosaur Tracks where we walked around the rocks looking for the dinosaur raised footprints, not depressions in the stone. On our way back to Cedar City we drove up to Bryan’s Head Ski Resort and they were still skiing.Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Cedar City, Utah

Our next stop was in Cedar City, Utah, staying at Cedar Breaks RV Park from October 19th to 24th. We tried to get into two other Parks closer to Zion National Park but both Parks were sold out. You have to book almost six months in advance to get into those Parks. We were happy to be in Cedar Cedar because we were closer to Bryce Canyon National Park where we were going to do a hike. Here in Bryce Canyon is the largest collection of hoodoos in the world and we wanted to spend more time seeing them up close and personal. We choose to do the Fairyland Loop Trail, 7.4 miles, beginning at Fairyland Point. We saw spectacular hoodoos and beautiful scenery along the rim and into the canyon. We took the side trail to Tower Bridge before heading back up to the rim. It was a steep downhill to Tower Bridge from Sunrise Point but well worth it. We had great views of the China Wall in the distance. Tower Bridge, you can’t get that close to, but you can see it through a break in the trees. We continued on the Fairyland Loop Trail from here and had better views of Tower Bridge as we ascended up the trail. As we hiked along the wide open trail the clouds disappeared and the white sandstone against the sapphire sky was incredible. This was a great hike, where you really get to see the beautiful hoodoos up close and to experience the wonders of Bryce Canyon. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Heber City, Utah

We arrived in Heber City, Utah, on October 12th,  staying at the beautiful, five-star, Mountain Valley RV Resort until October 19th. We took a four-wheel drive road into the Wasatch Range and drove forever along the dirt road until we realized we had missed a turn somewhere. The fall colors were beautiful, and we got lost in the scenery. We ended up coming out near Sundance Ski Resort and drove to Bridal Veil Falls on the way back to Heber City. The Falls are right next to  Hwy 189 in Provo Canyon, and fall 600 feet through a double cascade to a wide lacy veil into a small, shallow pool at the bottom. The Falls are very impressive all year long. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Mt Timpanogos, Utah

Aspen Grove

Back in Utah at the Mountain Valley RV Resort in Heber City. We love to stop here on our way south as it is such a beautiful park with views of the mountains in Utah’s Wasatch Range from our site. This time we had a different agenda for stopping here as we wanted to climb Mt Timpanogos, it was listed on the top 20 hikes to make you feel like a Badass. Naturally we had to go for it!!! Mount Timpanogos also referred to as Timp, is the second highest mountain in the Wasatch Range, rising to an elevation of 11,752 ft. We left the RV Park around 8am passing the Deer Creek Reservoir with views of Mt Timpanogos in the distance. We drove to Aspen Grove to begin the 18 mile hike, out and back, to the summit. Continue reading

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Calf Creek-18

Natural beauties

Today we drove the Jeep down Scenic Byway 12 across Boulder Mountain south to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Scenic Byway 12 spans a route of 124 miles, and travels through some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. We arrived at the Calf Creek Falls Recreation Area before noon and hiked the 6 mile R/T trail to the base of the falls. The Calf Creek Falls is a perennial waterfall that totals 214 feet. The lower falls is a 126 foot cascade and is very popular because it can be reached by the trail. However, the upper tier is a 88 foot plunge and is not as well known as it is a 1-mile scramble past the lower falls. We did not attempt to go to the upper falls but I did take a quick dip in the pool at the base of the falls. Very refreshing after such a hot, hike to get here. After we hiked out we went into Escalante for a late lunch and we found the restaurant that Kevin and Bob came to eat at in 2012. We stopped at the Outfitters store and Bob found a new shirt to buy. Then we took a back road out of Escalante back to Torrey. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Cathedral Valley-36

Hickman Bridge

We had a beautiful scenic drive from Moab to Torrey, Utah driving through the middle of Capitol Reef National Park. Arriving at Wonderland RV Park and staying for a week. Capitol Reef is a beautiful place, dominated by red cliffs of Wingate Sandstone and white domes of Navajo Sandstone, laced with canyons and wonderful rare plants. First we visited the Visitor Center and planned our hikes for today. We drove along the Scenic Drive past the orchards and the Old Gifford House, now serving pastries and drinks, and went to the end of the pavement and drove down the Capitol Gorge road which is a spectacular scenic drive to the trailhead for the Capitol Gorge Trail. It is 5.4 miles R/T along the canyon floor, and the canyon walls are close and sheer, with steep Navajo slopes rising another thousand feet above. We took the steep trail up to the Tanks, a term used to describe a large depression that retains water. At the top of the trail we had good views looking down into Capitol Gorge, the trail ends when it drops into a sandy wash and the water-filled tanks. Continue reading

Rafting the Green River – Moab, Utah

 

Lead-Photo

Sunset from Spanish Bottom

We left Priest Gulch RV Park today and headed for Moab, Utah. We are staying at the Portal RV Park for two weeks, a beautiful park with many privately owned sites that are very spacious. Next morning we drove to Durango to pick up Jim Karlovec and Dana Longo and brought them back to Moab to get ready for our rafting trip down the Green River for 6 days, booked through Canyon Voyages Adventure Co on Main St in Moab. The Green River rafting season extends from early April to October, but the best flows often occur during late May, because of the snow melt which there is a lot of this year, and this time also guarantees a spectacular wildflower show. We are rafting the Stillwater Canyon, from Mineral Bottom to Spanish Bottom(50 miles), the calm waters are a favorite with canoes and kayaks who can enjoy the scenery, historical relics and Indian ruins while floating down the river. We are going to follow in the footsteps of John Wesley Powell who was the first to explore the Green River in 1869! Continue reading

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar-Intro

Dixie National Forest

The Zion Park Scenic Byway (SR-9), is the road in and through Zion National Park, which never closes, except when we arrived because of a huge rock landslide. RV’s and buses must only travel this road when escorts are present due to the two tunnels and six tight switchbacks. Finally the road opened and we were able to drive the scenic byway up Pine Creek Canyon and through the tunnels. After the tunnel the highway continues through impressive scenery, past the Canyon Overlook and the unique Zion landmark, Checkerboard Mesa. The 25-mile long Zion-Mount Carmel Highway was built from 1927 to 1930 to connect Zion, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon, at a cost of $1,896,000. The tunnel by itself cost $503,000, and today they are a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.

We arrived at the  Zion Mountain Ranch, an authentic western lodge and a unique home of a roaming herd of buffalo, around 4 o’clock, too early for dinner. We made reservations for later and continued up the highway to see spectacular fall colors and to visit Cedar Breaks National Monument, a miniature Bryce Canyon. We were amazed at the brilliant colors of the Dixie National Forest surrounding Cedar Breaks providing lush alpine meadows clustered with ponderosa pines and quaking aspens as we drove along the road. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading