Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Great Pyramid Loop and OOPS!

Moab, UT
June 9,2013

Sunday morning we were up and out the door by 7:45am. When the temps are predicted to get into triple digits, an early start is a must! Our destination for the day was Dead Horse Point SP and a hike on the Great Pyramid Loop. Our trusted guide book rated this 3.7 mile loop as easy to moderate.

When we arrived and paid our fee, we did find out this is a shared trail with mountain bikes...not a problem. As we headed out, the trail was a little rocky to say the walking on marbles.

 In fact, we both thought this might turn out to be a boring hike. But after several turns, we were standing in front of spectacular views of the canyon.

The first "WOW!" was at the Colorado River Overlook. It is a huge slickrock area with no rails. Notice I kept my distance from the edge!

 The inclines on this trail have gradual changes in elevation making them fairly easy to hike.


The second overlook was a view of the Great Pyramid.

We just can't get enough of these views. Some might think if you have seen one view of a canyon, you have seen them all. Yet, when there in person,  each view is so different, rendering a completely fresh perspective and visual impact.  I have run out of adjectives...maybe I haven't said breathtaking so that will do!

 Once past the second overlook, the trail heads away from the rim with another slow climb 

with a few larger rocky shelves.


We entered a basin and enjoyed the shade from the pinyon pines.  Perfect for a water and apple break!

Did you know pinyon pines do not produce pine nuts every year?

A tree produces edible nuts just every three to seven years. The irregular cycle prevents animals from adapting to an abundance of pine nuts and guarantees that at least some nuts will become new pine trees instead of a quick meal for a squirrel.

 This partial cone was crushed on the trail so Joe picked it up for a closer look.

 Shortly after our break, we came to a fork in the trail.  Although I usually take pictures of the signs, the one for this junction had about a dozen bikers in front of it. Their bikes were scattered about and looked to us like a huge wreck. Well, this is where the OOPS! part in the title comes in.

Without looking at the direction sign, I said "turn right" so we did.  After we had hiked one for over an hour, we came to a trail marker with a map and "you are here" designation .  We were now a third of the way into the Big Chief Loop, which is a 9,2 mile hike that includes the Great Pyramid Loop.  In looking at the map we calculated that our 3.7 mile hike should just about have been completed and we were left with a decision.... turn around, or finish out the 9.2 mile loop.  We did not have enough water or time to complete the extra miles so we back tracked.


My mistake cost us about 2 hours and boy was it getting hotter by the second! What a relief it was to see this sign. We still had 1.5 miles to go, but at least it was in the right direction!

 From here we climbed another hill. Why does it seem like the red sandy parts of the trail all go uphill? Not hard packed red sand, but soft,  red sand that your feet get buried in. Good for the legs but tough to walk in!

 Once at the top of the mesa, it was an easy walk through a meadow to the visitor center.

Dark pink
Pale pink
or Yellow

The meadow was full of prickly pear cactus. And this little guy was sure enjoying brunch!


Pretty Buckwheat

Mystery flower of the day...I could not find it. Does anyone know what it is?

Sure wish this cairn had been at the fork in the road and not in the meadow!
 Whew! What a sight...Don't mind telling you we were tired and hot by the time we returned to the Visitor Center. What should have been a 3.7 mile hike in the early morning, turned out to be about 5.7 miles.

We didn't budge on Monday except to take Sally to the vet for her annual shots and exam. Dr. Jim Gostlin and his wife Lou were great with Sally.  During her exam, Dr. Jim showed us the heavy tar build up on her back teeth.  He suggested we should have them cleaned when we were in a location and had time.  With yet another week here in Moab, we asked if he could do it for us.  He could, so she returned Tuesday for the procedure.  If you are in Moab, UT and find yourself in need of veterinarian we highly recommend Dr. Gostlin and his staff.
"But daddy, I'm people, not a dog!"

Thanks for stopping by.
Y'all come back!


  1. That 'Oops' would have about done me in. :)

  2. Steve hates to hear me say oops! Especially if we're in the motorhome.

    You two are really turning into hard core hikers. A little more training and you will have no problem keeping up with John and Pam! Way to go!

  3. Another beautiful hike! Glad that it turned out alright. It wouldn't have been as bad had you had more water but when you're not figuring on going that far why carry it. We have learned now to take more water than what we need, there seem to be many times that we end up going further than we expected.


  4. Utah definitely has some gorgeous scenery!

  5. Temperatures in the triple digits would be a big deterrent for me. Hopefully, you got out on the trail early enough to avoid those temps. Gorgeous views look like it was all worth it.

  6. An idea for your water (besides taking more than you need)...freeze your water in the bottles overnight. Then at least for part of the day, you'll have ice cold water as it thaws. We love doing this. The cold water helps cool you down and it's so refreshing.

    The hike looks wonderful and I love your jackrabbit photos. Don't know what that one plant is. Hope someone knows.

  7. Good thing you left early for the extra long hike, more wonderful pictures, thanks.

  8. Beautiful photos of a wonderful hike! I just love Utah so much. The wild hare was so cute... Did Sally have to be put to sleep for her teeth cleaning? I've don't that once with my Cali, but she's 11 now and I don't like to take any unnecessary anesthesia risks.

    1. Unfortunately...yes, Sally did have to be put to sleep. They kept her all day and she was fine when we picked her up. She really didn't have any side effects.

  9. Wish we had more time to visit Moab and other places in Utah. Going to Salt Lake City area Sunday to spend Father's Day with my daughter as we head out to the Sacramento Area to visit mom and dad for awhile....have not seen them for a year now. Hoping to visit Southern Utah during the coming winter though, along with spending time in Arizona.

    Sure enjoy following your travels.

    Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)

  10. The good thing about your hikes in high temperature is that it is a dry heat, now that 's a positive spin. But those vistas are spectacular and the flowers too!
    We stink after our hikes here as it is too humid.