Grand Gulch Loop Hike

Cedar Mesa Kiva

Over three days and two nights this last weekend I went on a ~25 mile loop hike from Cedar Mesa in southeastern Utah. I hiked down Todie Canyon, to Grand Gulch, then out Bullet Canyon. Most of the way the hike passes through dramatic canyon scenery with vertical cliffs and dramatic rock formations. But the highlights were without doubt the numerous ancient ruins and pictographs along the way.

Check out all the photos from the Grand Gulch trek on my gallery site.

Island in the Sky

Canyonlands sunset

[+] On my way home today from Midway, Utah (near Park City), I made a detour from Moab and drove up to the Island in the Sky, in Canyonlands National Park. There was still lots of snow on the ground, even two days after the Christmas dump, and the roads up there were sheets of ice! After a slippery drive to the Grandview Point overlook, I donned my down jacket and snowboard boots, and hiked a mile along the rim to take photos of the evening light and sunset.

More photos below.

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Sunset on Timpanogos

Timpanogos Summit Panorama

This last weekend I went up to Utah to visit my parents, who are building a house in Midway, and my sister, who was visiting and is about to move back to Berlin. On Saturday night I was supposed to go to a play with them, but my mom was kind enough to let me play hooky to go hike up Mount Timpanogos instead.

Since it was almost a full moon, I decided to go watch the sunset from the summit and hike back down under the moonlight. I’ve been up the mountain twice before via the Aspen Grove trail (including a glorious snowboard descent), so this time I took a different trail – the Timpooneke Trail. The trail gains ~4,500 feet over ~8 miles, and after a quick three hour hike I reached the summit at 5pm, with a full two hours to relax up there by myself, soaking in the views and taking photos.

Timpanogos may be Utah’s most beloved mountain, and indeed on this Saturday I counted over 300 signatures in the summit register – all from that day! It’s great to see to see that so many people enjoy this majestic peak that’s in their backyard.

See my sunset photos from Timpanogos here.

I look forward to returning soon and photographing Timp under a blanket of winter snow.

Canyonlands Needles District

5.13.08: UPDATED WITH 4X5 PHOTOS

This last weekend I went backpacking in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. After shelling out 25 bucks for entrance and permit fees, I set off into the “wild”. Is it just me or do national parks feel like nature amusement parks? All the regulations and designated trails and campspots definitely spoil the notion of being out in the wilderness. But these areas are national parks for a reason – they are undeniably spectacular!

Here are some DP1 digital photos from the trip, as well as a few 4×5 film ones.

Canyonlands Needles District

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Skiing the La Sals

Moonrise over the La Sals

This weekend I met up with Ann Driggers and Seth Anderson, some new ski buddies I met through SummitPost.org, to ski some lines in the La Sal Mountains in Utah. The La Sals rise 8,700 vertical feet above the city of Moab and all the surrounding canyonlands. I was excited not only to check out a new mountain range, but to snowboard down some of these lofty desert peaks that I’ve gazed up at so many times from the canyonlands far below.

The La Sals were also a good choice for this time of year because the snow there has already settled into a solid springtime snowpack, unlike the snowpack here in the San Juans, which is still transitioning from winter.

 

DAY ONE: TUKLEAR REACTION

Our first objective was Mount Tukuhnikivatz, or “Tuk” for short. This pyramid-shaped peak is one of the most notable mountains in the La Sals, easily visible for hundreds of miles from the south side of the range.

High above Moab

With crampons on our feet and skis/board strapped on our backs, we hiked on the solidly frozen snow pretty much straight up one of the ridgelines for 3200 vertical feet or so to the summit. It felt so strange to peer down at vast red rock canyonlands while we were hiking on snow. The mountain is so much higher than the surrounding deserts that you almost feel like you’re looking out from an airplane.

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