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Trip Destination: Cedar Mesa

Cedar Mesa

The Other Side (May 2024)

  As temperatures have started to rise across the west, areas that were covered in snow or otherwise too cold to wander during the winter are once again opening up. And, while I have an endless list of desert destinations to explore, it's always an exciting time to venture beyond the confines of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts that we've recently called home. And so, we're headed to Utah. There, San Rafael Swell and Cedar Mesa will be our destinations. Like the desert, an infinite number of days could be consumed savoring the sandstone formations, deep canyons, and Native American…

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Utah Backcountry Discovery Route (Jul 2023)

As always, we wanted to run a BDR this summer, and I'd had my eye on Colorado or Utah as both are always beautiful states through which to travel. With record snowfall across the west, we realized a few weeks before our departure date that Colorado was completely out of the question, and even portions of the Utah route could still be blocked by snow. Still, the Utah BDR is an iconic route. Meandering 871-miles through the Valley of Gods, climbing the Moki Dugway, picking the perfect route through the rough roads of Lockhart Basin, and winding through four mountain ranges…

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Three Days of R&R (Apr 2023)

I've been itching to get out of California for a while now. Over the last 16 months, a full 15 of my 24 trips have been to the Golden State, and I'm starting to miss the variety offered by places like Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. Of course, the high elevations and northern reaches are still snowed in, but there's never a shortage of amazing hiking and exploration to be done in the Grand Gulch and Cedar Mesa area So, with a few days to burn, I'm headed out in search of history. With more than 30 miles of trails, it'd…


Forty-One Miles of Mesa (May 2021)

I was naive. I thought that returning to Cedar Mesa in search of more Native American Ruins (see Utah, Re-Ruined) would get me to the point where I'd have seen most of what we'd missed on our first trip to the area some two years earlier (see Ruining Around Utah). Yeah, calling that naive is probably being generous. While I was there, I quickly realized that I was only scratching the surface - that there was so much more in the area - that I could probably visit for years (decades even), and still have more to see. A lot like…

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Utah, Re-Ruined (Apr 2021)

We had unfinished business in Utah, after our Ruining Around Utah trip back in spring of 2019. An unseasonably wet winter meant that the higher elevation roads were still impassable due to snow, so one of our primary goals - the Lewis Lodge ruins - remained just out of reach. And I haven't gotten back since. I'd had so much fun on that trip - searching for Native American ruins - that I decided it was time to go back. This time, the plan centered almost entirely around ruins - Lewis Lodge, Hotel Rock, Moon House, River House, Jailhouse, and…

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Ruining Around Utah (Mar 2019)

I've been to Canyonlands National Park before, but only to The Maze District. This, my first trip to The Needles District would be an experience I won't soon forget. We'd spend a week roaming around Utah, running the Elephant Hill trail and making our way into Beef Basin. We'd hike to the Druid Arch - a spectacular trek through cany and over red rock that is worth every moment of soreness you'll feel when it's over. And then, as if everything we'd seen wasn't enough, we'd head to Natural Bridges National Monument for the full tour. I must admit, it's…