The Quietest Moments, October 2008

Clouds at sunset, Green River Overlook, Canyonlands National Park
Clouds at sunset, Green River Overlook, Canyonlands National Park

• Monticello to Moab, Arches and Castle Valley

Cyclone Canyon viewed from the Confluence Overlook Trail, Canyonlands
Cyclone Canyon viewed from the Confluence Overlook Trail, Canyonlands

Up before dawn in Monticello, Utah, after driving 15 hours the day before.

After shooting a couple of sunrise images along U. S. 191 south of Moab, my first venue was the Klondike Bluffs at Arches National Park. It was an excellent hike with clear skies, though it was a bit on the warm side.

Made the short hike in the Windows section at Arches. The park service calls it a “primitive” trail, but it is practically a sidewalk. The day became increasingly hazy.

Drove to Hittle Bottom east of Moab and hiked the Richardson Amphitheater Loop Trail, which was interesting and fairly un-crowded.

Visited the historic Dewey Bridge, which I had heard burned in April. Photographed the ruins.

Made my way to the Castle Valley for sunset. Shot only a few frames – the sun only came out in the last few minutes.

Hiking the Klondike Bluffs
Hiking the Klondike Bluffs

• Gemini Bridges, White Rim Road, Upheaval Dome

At first light, drove to the Gemini Twin Bridges. The road was rough but otherwise unchallenging.

On advice from a park ranger, I drove the White Rim Road down to the Gooseneck Trail and Musselman Arch. The sign at the top says “Speed Limit 15 mph,” but is entirely superfluous, since there is no way to go any faster.

The road was particularly rough and slow near Musselman Arch.

The Honda Element on the White Rim Road
The Honda Element on the White Rim Road

Hiked the Wilhite Trail from the trail head to the point at which it descends to the Holman Spring Basin below, about 1.1 miles. Saw no one else.

Re-hiked the Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail, which Michael and I had done in 2004. It was a better, more interesting trail than I remembered, possibly because this late afternoon light was better this time.

Was sure to be at the Green River Overlook for sunset, simply because I had not been there for sunset before. Despite a small crowd, it made really nice pictures.

Green River Overlook at Sunset
Green River Overlook at Sunset

• Confluence Overlook Trail

At the Confluence Overlook, Canyonlands
At the Confluence Overlook, Canyonlands

Spent the entire day hiking the Confluence Overlook Trail in the Needles District at Canyonlands. A 6-mile trail that crosses three canyons, this journey sported excellent variety and beautiful scenery. The overlook itself was much more spectacular than I imagined it would be.

Hoodoos along the Confluence Overlook Trail
Hoodoos along the Confluence Overlook Trail

• Alcove Spring Trail at The Island in the Sky

I made the long, excellent hike in a cold wind down the Alcove Spring Trail to the Zeus and Moses formations on the northern most end of Canyonlands. Near the end of the day, I took the White Rim Overlook trail. It was an excellent day of hiking to conclude this trip.

• Driving Home

On the drive home, I stopped to photograph Shiprock Peak, since it was along my route.

Additional images:

At the White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands
At the White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands
Alcove Spring trail, Canyonlands National Park, Utah; the cave on the left is the trail's namesake.
Alcove Spring trail, Canyonlands National Park, Utah; the cave on the left is the trail’s namesake.
Zeus and Moses formations at the end of the Alcove Spring trail, Canyonlands.
Zeus and Moses formations at the end of the Alcove Spring trail, Canyonlands.
Along the Zeus and Moses loop, Canyonlands.
Along the Zeus and Moses loop, Canyonlands.
The view up Taylor Canyon, Canyonlands.
The view up Taylor Canyon, Canyonlands.
Along the Alcove Spring trail, Canyonlands.
Along the Alcove Spring trail, Canyonlands.
Light and Shadow at Hatch Point near Canyonlands.
Light and Shadow at Hatch Point near Canyonlands.
Sunset, Castle Valley, near Moab, Utah.
Sunset, Castle Valley, near Moab, Utah.
Castleton Tower, Castle Valley, Moab, Utah.
Castleton Tower, Castle Valley, Moab, Utah.
On the Confluence Overlook trail, Needles district, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
On the Confluence Overlook trail, Needles district, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Confluence of the Green River and Colorado River, Needles district, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Confluence of the Green River and Colorado River, Needles district, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
This view looks south into Cyclone Canyon from the intersection with the Overlook trail.
This view looks south into Cyclone Canyon from the intersection with the Overlook trail.
A short stretch of the Confluence Overlook trail follows a Jeep road.
A short stretch of the Confluence Overlook trail follows a Jeep road.
This tree on the Confluence Overlook trail appears to have burned, possibly due to a lightning strike.
This tree on the Confluence Overlook trail appears to have burned, possibly due to a lightning strike.
Tree and sun, Confluence Overlook trail, Canyonlands.
Tree and sun, Confluence Overlook trail, Canyonlands.
Near the Confluence Overlook trail head, Canyonlands.
Near the Confluence Overlook trail head, Canyonlands.
After this hike, I consider the Confluence Overlook trail one of my favorites.
After this hike, I consider the Confluence Overlook trail one of my favorites.
Cottonwoods near Courthouse Wash, Arches National Park, Utah.
Cottonwoods near Courthouse Wash, Arches National Park, Utah.
I found this cairn in the shape of a fish on the Alcove Spring trail. I decided such a sighting at that altitude must be a "lofty perch."
I found this cairn in the shape of a fish on the Alcove Spring trail. I decided such a sighting at that altitude must be a “lofty perch.”
Rainbow in morning virga, Gemini Bridges near Moab, Utah.
Rainbow in morning virga, Gemini Bridges near Moab, Utah.
Morning, Gemini Bridges, near Moab, Utah.
Morning, Gemini Bridges, near Moab, Utah.
Morning, Gemini Bridges, near Moab, Utah.
Morning, Gemini Bridges, near Moab, Utah.
View looking northeast from Gooseberry trail head, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands.
View looking east from Gooseberry trail head, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands.
View looking north from Gooseberry trail head, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands.
View looking north from Gooseberry trail head, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands.
Looking south from the Gooseberry trail head.
Looking south from the Gooseberry trail head.
Chipmunk at the Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands.
Chipmunk at the Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands.
Sunset at the Green River Overlook, Canyonlands.
Sunset at the Green River Overlook, Canyonlands.
Sunset at the Green River Overlook, Canyonlands.
Sunset at the Green River Overlook, Canyonlands.
Sunset at the Green River Overlook, Canyonlands.
Sunset at the Green River Overlook, Canyonlands.
Sunset at the Green River Overlook, Canyonlands; this is one of my all-time favorite images of the southwest.
Sunset at the Green River Overlook, Canyonlands; this is one of my all-time favorite images of the southwest.
The La Sal Mountains and Turret Arch, viewed from the Klondike Bluffs section of Arches National Park, Utah.
The La Sal Mountains and Turret Arch, viewed from the Klondike Bluffs section of Arches National Park, Utah.
The Marching Men, Klondike Bluffs section of Arches National Park.
The Marching Men, Klondike Bluffs section of Arches National Park.
Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
The Marching Men, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
The Marching Men, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Dune field near Tower Arch, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Dune field near Tower Arch, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Eroded stone face near Tower Arch, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Eroded stone face near Tower Arch, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Tower Arch, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Tower Arch, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Looking south, Klondike Bluffs area, Arches National Park.
Looking south, Klondike Bluffs area, Arches National Park.
Tower Arch and surroundings, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Tower Arch on the right and surroundings, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Hand prints in sand dune, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
Hand prints in sand dune, Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park.
I found this modern petroglyph on a stone on the Alcove Spring trail. Unlike graffiti etched on a boulder or stone face, this was etched onto a small stone, which I felt had a sense of humor attached to it.
I found this modern petroglyph on a stone on the Alcove Spring trail. Unlike graffiti etched on a boulder or stone face, this was etched onto a small stone, which I felt had a sense of humor attached to it.
Musselman Arch, White Rim Road, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Musselman Arch, White Rim Road, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Your host at the Zeus and Moses loop trail head at the end of the 5.1-mile Alcove Spring trail, Canyonlands.
Your host at the Zeus and Moses loop trail head at the end of the 5.1-mile Alcove Spring trail, Canyonlands.
Richardson Amphitheater, Utah highway 128 northeast of Moab.
Richardson Amphitheater, Utah highway 128 northeast of Moab.
Lizard, Richardson Amphitheater.
Lizard, Richardson Amphitheater.
Trees and sun, Richardson Amphitheater.
Trees and sun, Richardson Amphitheater.
Richardson Amphitheater.
Richardson Amphitheater.
Winding park road, Canyonlands.
Winding park road, Canyonlands.
Afternoon, Shiprock Peak, New Mexico.
Afternoon, Shiprock Peak, New Mexico.
Barbed wire and Shiprock Peak, New Mexico.
Barbed wire and Shiprock Peak, New Mexico.
Sunrise on U. S. 191 south of Moab, Utah.
Sunrise on U. S. 191 south of Moab, Utah.
Boulder field near Aneth, Utah, near the Colorado border.
Boulder field near Aneth, Utah, near the Colorado border.
View from the White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands.
View from the White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands.
Monument Basin viewed from the White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands.
Monument Basin viewed from the White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands.
White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands.
White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands.
View across the Colorado RIver looking east from the White Rim Road, Canyonlands.
View across the Colorado River looking east from the White Rim Road, Canyonlands. The La Sal Mountains are visible in the distance.
View across the Colorado RIver looking east from the White Rim Road, Canyonlands, with Dead Horse Point in the upper left hand side of the frame.
View across the Colorado River looking east from the White Rim Road, Canyonlands, with Dead Horse Point in the upper left hand side of the frame.
View across the Colorado RIver looking east from the White Rim Road, Canyonlands, with Dead Horse Point at the top of the frame.
View across the Colorado River looking east from the White Rim Road, Canyonlands, with Dead Horse Point at the top of the frame.
A Bighorn Sheep wears a radio collar, White Rim Road.
A Bighorn Sheep wears a radio collar, White Rim Road.
Ancestral granary, Wilhite trail, Canyonlands.
Ancestral granary, Wilhite trail, Canyonlands.
Candlestick Tower viewed from the Wilhite Trail, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands.
Candlestick Tower viewed from the Wilhite Trail, Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands.
You host makes pictures at the White Rim Overlook in Canyonlands National Park.
You host makes pictures at the White Rim Overlook in Canyonlands National Park.
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

1 Comment

  1. I’m off to Moab next week and I was searching for some ideas of what to do. Your narrative and especially your photos have really made me excited to get there. Thanks for putting them online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *