The Point, June 2006

Abajo Mountains at sunset, eastern Utah
Abajo Mountains at sunset, eastern Utah

• 16 hours on the road to Monticello, Utah.

Horses with Chimney Rock, Colorado, in the background
Horses with Chimney Rock, Colorado, in the background
Power lines and a butte catch late light near Cortez, Colorado.
Power lines and a butte catch late light near Cortez, Colorado.

• 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.

Looking north from Chesler Park, Canyonlands.
Looking north from Chesler Park, Canyonlands.

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.

The sign for Jug Handle Arch leaves little doubt you are in the right place. There are several arches by this name, but this one might be the most aptly named.
The sign for Jug Handle Arch leaves little doubt you are in the right place. There are several arches by this name, but this one might be the most aptly named.
Truck and Cross on a stick on the road
Truck and Cross on a stick on the road

• 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.

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, and a few mokee steps, and one ladder, it is not difficult. Corona Arch is beautiful, huge and impressive.

Early on the Corona Arch Trail is this stark cut in the cliffs for a rail line.
Early on the Corona Arch Trail is this stark cut in the cliffs for a rail line.
Posing at Dead Horse Point.
Posing at Dead Horse Point.

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.

This is the standard view from Dead Horse Point, which I shoot every time I visit because it is quite spectacular. Photographs of it are sometimes misrepresented as being of the Grand Canyon.
This is the standard view from Dead Horse Point, which I shoot every time I visit because it is quite spectacular. Photographs of it are sometimes misrepresented as being of the Grand Canyon.

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.

Corona Arch
Corona Arch
Your host poses at Corona Arch.
Your host poses at Corona Arch.

• 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 "House on Fire" ruin is about a mile down Mule Canyon.
The “House on Fire” ruin is about a mile down Mule Canyon.

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.

Pictograph reproductions, Edge of the Cedars State Park
Pictograph reproductions, Edge of the Cedars State Park

• Driving East, Great Sand Dunes, Blanca Peak, Capulin Volcano

Grotto at La Veta, Colorado
Grotto at La Veta, Colorado

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.

Additional images:

Ladybug migration, Capulin Volcano, New Mexico
Ladybug migration, Capulin Volcano, New Mexico
Abandoned house and clouds near Yellow Jacket, Colorado.
Abandoned house and clouds near Yellow Jacket, Colorado.
Clouds and Blanca Peak, Colorado.
Clouds and Blanca Peak, Colorado.
I spotted these odd items in the vicinity of Blanca Peak. I don't know why anyone would load adobe onto pallets.
I spotted these odd items in the vicinity of Blanca Peak. I don’t know why anyone would load adobe onto pallets.
Broken Arch, Arches National Park, Utah.
Broken Arch, Arches National Park, Utah.
Sandstone benches and virga, trail, Arches National Park.
Sandstone benches and virga, trail, Arches National Park.
Sand Dune Arch from above, Arches National Park.
Sand Dune Arch from above, Arches National Park.
Trail and sky, Arches National Park.
Trail and sky, Arches National Park.
Shadow self-portrait, Butler Wash Natural Bridge, southern Utah.
Shadow self-portrait, Butler Wash Natural Bridge, southern Utah.
Sandstone and Junction Butte, Canyonlands National Park.
Sandstone and Junction Butte, Canyonlands National Park.
Cedar Mesa Sandstone, Needles district, Canyonlands.
Cedar Mesa Sandstone, Needles district, Canyonlands.
Layers of sandstone, Chesler Park trail, Canyonlands.
Layers of sandstone, Chesler Park trail, Canyonlands.
Corona Arch.
Corona Arch.
Corona Arch.
Corona Arch.
Looking southeast from Dead Horse Point, Utah.
Looking southeast from Dead Horse Point, Utah.
Kiva, Edge of the Cedars State Park, Utah.
Kiva, Edge of the Cedars State Park, Utah.
"House on Fire" ruin, Mule Canyon, southern Utah.
“House on Fire” ruin, Mule Canyon, southern Utah.
"House on Fire" ruin.
“House on Fire” ruin.
Roadside grotto near La Veta, Colorado.
Roadside grotto near La Veta, Colorado.
Tree and view to the south, Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico.
Tree and view to the south, Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico.
Horse at Chimney Rock, Colorado.
Horse at Chimney Rock, Colorado.
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2 Comments

  1. * My favorite has to be the last one, with the lone horse at Chimney Rock.

    * The spiral pictographs reminded me of several movies where some investigator or criminal has supposedly gone crazy and they’ve painted or drawn spirals on the walls of their home. (Dark City came to mind first.)

    * I like that you (usually) have someone photograph you in these locations, and that you’re comfortable with that. Some photographers seem too snooty for it (or shy away if someone tries to make an image of them). Personally, I usually forget to put myself on that side of the camera… Sometimes my wife reminds me. 🙂

  2. Wil, one note: if you can get them to shoot it with your camera, that settles the question. If they shoot it with their camera and the promise they’ll email it to you, even if your give your email address in a business card, it will never happen.

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