Desert Season


Above – Just before sunset near the Dollhouse in the Maze

Below – Looking into Jasper Canyon in the Maze

Oh, how I love the spring desert season. It’s so nice to escape from Denver and head out to the middle of nowhere in southern Utah and northern Arizona, exploring bits and piece of the Colorado Plateau. My March trips turned out excellent, and I was treated to some amazing weather for both the Grand Canyon and for the Maze district of Canyonlands. It’s pretty crazy how remote the Maze district is, taking over 4 hours from Green River, UT to get to the golden stairs where we started my second trip. Aaron wrote up a trip report here with some awesome photos.  

Two weeks after going on those trips, I needed more, so I headed back out to Canyonlands, hitting up the Needles district and hiking Salt Creek from Cathedral Butte to Peekaboo, and then hiking west to see Druid Arch and out through Elephant Hill. I had hiked Salt Creek two years ago, and although it was familiar, it was fun to see it again, seeing even more Indian ruins and petroglyphs than I saw last time. However, I hiked downstream instead of upstream, which made navigation much easier, and instead of continuing along the salt creek north, we headed west into lost canyon, which was absolutely epic.

After getting back, I found out the next day that I had a new job offer, with some better benefits, so I decided to celebrate with another desert trip just before starting up the new job, this time exploring the lower section of capitol reef along the Bullfrog-Notom Road. The weather is again looking excellent for the trip. After that, I’m looking forward to finally doing the Under-the-rim Trail in Bryce, and finishing off the spring desert season with yet another trip to the Needles District to see the rest of Chesler Park. 6 desert trips should keep me satisfied till next fall, and until next fall, I can do some more exploring of the high country as it melts out from the winter.

In the latest issue of TrailGroove, I wrote up some tips for deserts trips for the trail tips section here.

I also got a chance to check out Pat’s Backcountry Beverage System and their brew and soda concentrates. Simply put, they taste like a fresh beer/soda, and its much lighter and eco-friendly than hauling around a bunch of cans/bottles around the backcountry. I also wrote up a full review for the magazine, which can be seen here too

There’s a few other things I’ve got in the works with Osprey Packs and Golite, so hopefully those will come to fruition soon enough. Let’s just say I’m excited about what the future may hold 🙂


Posted in Backpacking, Planning and Prep, TrailGroove Magazine

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