Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Red Cliffs Desert Reserve

More Red Cliffs Desert Reserve

Ive decided that the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve (RCDR) is truly underrated! My latest trip there was one of my hiking highlights of 2008 and this time I was able to share the experience with Trevor. Without any source of information whatsoever(is this a word?), I plotted our journey up the north face of Sandstone Mountain, and then down the south side of the mountain (we are not mountain climbers, we merely found a possible way up and down without any type of technical skills other than scrambling) Once on top we were able to see LaVerkin, with an stunning view of West Temple in the background, the city of Hurricane, Leeds, Pinevalley, and as far south as Sand Hollow. After spending some time contemplating on top of the mountain we began to pick, or slide down the backside of the mountain. The best part of our trip was found tumbling down the mountain! Amazing colors, rock formations, even windows in the rocks dazzled our eyes and minds. I was nearly as impressed with the sights and colors we saw, as when I first saw the Wave in the Paria Wilderness Area. After nearly rolling our ankles on several occasion because we couldnt keep our eyes on the trail due to the beauty of the area, we were able to cross the backside of the mountain and reach the arch that I wrote about it an earlier posting. This time I had time to actually sit and enjoy the little arch.

Today was a day not soon to be forgotten for either me or Trevor! Here are some pictures.

1/2 way up the north face of Sandstone Mtn.

I have no idea how I took this picture, but it looks like Trevor is traveling through some time warp.

Overlooking LaVerkin and West Temple (ZNP)

We saw some CRAZY weathering of rocks!

Even the moss was more artistic in the RCDR

Some of the differences in color of the sandstone was similar to the Wave.

Just the icing on the cake of a perfect day

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Red Cliffs Desert Reserve- Arch Trail

Due to the crazy amounts of snow the upper elevations of Southern Utah have received over the last two weeks I was left scrambling to find a new place to hike during the cold, snowy winter months and boy did I find it. In practically my back yard one can find peace, beauty and even natural free standing arches. During my research (thank you SCC for paying me to browse the internet) I found mention of a free standing arch. Basically all I found was one brief trail description and a couple pictures, but I decided that I would find this arch during my xmas break (thank you state of Utah and Washington County for giving me a two week xmas break this year!) Trevor and I made a quasi-attempt earlier this week but due to a snow/rain storm our excursion was cancelled. Luckily for me I did not give up hope but rather set out by myself on a cold December morning. Because of the lack of information of how to find this arch I found myself accidentally parking about 1-2 miles away from the trailhead, being lost for most of the time, finding myself somewhat stuck with the only option of sliding down a ten foot slab of slickrock, and scraping my knuckles up!!! But with a little determination I eventually found the needle in the haystack. While the arch isnt very large, it is still impressive, especially for southwestern Utah. It is somewhat reminiscent of delicate arch although on a much smaller scale. Once I found the arch, I also found the trail out, which was much easier and faster than my scramble down the mountain trail.