I’ve made this drive on a few other occasions, but never in June during maximum daylight. This allowed me to shoot more along my route.
• Chesler Park Trail at Canyonlands National Park and Butler Wash
I started at the Elephant Hill trail head in Canyonlands National Park, with the intent of just hiking in a mile or two. By the time I made it to Elephant Canyon, I decided I would go all the way to Chesler Park. During the entire 5.2-mile round trip, I only saw nine other people.
In late afternoon, I hiked the short trail to Butler Wash on Cedar Mesa, to a view of native ruins and a handsome natural bridge.
• Corona Arch, Dead Horse Point, Arches
Despite record-breaking heat, I was still able to take a couple of very nice hikes.
In the morning I drove to Moab, Utah, had some breakfast, then took the Potash Mine Road to the Jug Handle Arch.
I hiked to Corona Arch, which is in the same vicinity as the Jug Handle. The trail is very similar to the Delicate Arch Trail, both in elevation increase and length, as well as character and difficulty. Aside from a grip cable along one piece of steep slickrock bench, a few mokee steps, and one ladder, it is not difficult. Corona Arch is beautiful, huge and impressive.
Later in the day, a park ranger told me that anywhere else in the country, Corona Arch would be part of a national park.
During the hottest part of the day, I drove to Dead Horse Point State Park just for something to do.
Later in the afternoon at Arches National Park, I made the loop between Sand Dune Arch, Tapestry Arch, and Broken Arch. It ended up being a pretty fun little hike.
• House on Fire, Edge of the Cedars
I hiked in Cedar Mesa to a native ruin in Mule Canyon called the “House on Fire.” It was a mile to the ruin, but I never saw anyone else on the trail.
The heat continued, so after lunch I toured the Edge of the Cedars State Park in Blanding, Utah. It was fun and interesting, and worked out perfectly, since it thunderstormed twice in the afternoon.
• Driving East, Great Sand Dunes, Blanca Peak, Capulin Volcano
These driving days included a quick stop at Great Sand Dunes National Park. It was too windy and rainy to do much. I also stopped and photographed Blanca Peak, some really cool roadside sites, including a very complex roadside grotto, and Capulin Volcano National Monument.