Thursday, May 30, 2013

Potash Road to Canyonlands NP

Moab,  UT

 Last Sunday (5-26) Joe and I decided to take a "Sunday drive".  We just decided to go...without a plan or destination. We headed north on Hwy 191 and made a left turn on Potash Road, Hwy 279.
Colorado River

 The drive along paved Hwy 279 follows the Colorado River. It is quite scenic.

Rock climbers

Petroglyphs along the road

After about 17 miles, the pavement ends. We passed a potash plant on the left. We didn't think much about the plant until we saw the evaporating pools...they are so blue! And look so out of place.

The trail is a well-maintained road for stock, high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles.

 And at times the trail runs close to cliff edges along shelf roads.

Somewhere along the way, the road changed names...Potash Road runs into Shafer Trail (San Juan County Road 142).

 This is Dead Horse State Park in the background...

...and Thelma and Louise Point in the foreground.

The final scene of the movie Thelma and Louise was filmed here.

To us, this was just a beautiful view of the Colorado River and the canyon walls.

This is the back entrance to Canyonlands NP on Shafer Trail.

 We took a side trip to Musselman Arch on a stretch of the White Rim Trail.

The views were beautiful...

...the trail is narrow... you wind along the edge of canyons in the shadows of high cliffs.

 Musselman Arch is approximately 8 feet wide and 100 feet long. I would never do it, but you can walk across the arch. It is a 60 foot drop to the canyon floor.

Musselman Arch

Back on Shafer Trail...

...up, and up and up we went. This part of the trail is called the Shafer Switchbacks.

I enjoyed the non-stop breathtaking views...

...although, I have to confess I should have been watching for on coming vehicles.

The switchbacks take you up (or down depending on where you choose to begin) about 1,000 feet.

Once we reached the top, we turned left and visited the Island in the Sky Visitor Center. Then headed home.

It was an amazing Sunday drive....

...with amazing views!

Y'all come back!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Negro Bill Canyon Trail


Moab, UT 

 Last Friday (5-24) was family hike day and Negro Bill Canyon Trail to Morning Glory Bridge was the hike of choice. The hike is  4.2 miles round trip. It is a constructed trail along a stream.

The area is part of the Colorado River watershed and the stream flows directly into the main channel of the Colorado River in Moab Canyon.
The trailhead is on Utah Scenic Byway 128, three miles east from the junction of U.S. 191.

For the first 1 mile or so, the trail follows the stream on the left. We all enjoyed the plant life.

Wild roses and scrub oaks lined the trail.

 This plant caught my eye...I'm not sure what it is.

It was shady and cool.

 We crossed over the stream eight or nine times.

 At one point we climbed the canyon wall and walked along the ridge.
 Wrecks was showing us how easy it is!
 We had nice views of the canyon walls.            
 Morning Glory Bridge is at the end of trail. Unfortunately, I did not have a wide angle lens with me. I was too close to get a picture that shows how big the bridge is.
Morning Glory Bridge has a span of 243 feet. It is the sixth longest natural bridge in the U.S.

This is where the trail ends... a huge canyon wall. The water trickling from the wall is where the stream begins. It is so cool and shady here. We had a picnic lunch before starting back.

 I was just a little curious about how this trail got it's name.

The canyon was named after William Granstaff, a prospector and rancher who grazed his cattle here in the late 1800s.

He was the first non-Caucasian pioneer to do so.

I'm not sure who had more fun on the hike...Dover and Wrecks or Joe and I.

We did meet several other hikers going and coming with pets. Some hikers even had children!

A short video Joe took at Morning Glory Bridge :

At one of the cross overs, we spotted tadpoles.

Dover and Wrecks know how to keep cool...

I also included a short clip that shows how pretty the stream is:

We had a fun hike. What a wonderful way to spend the morning!

Y'all come back!