Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Rock Trip

We finally came up with a name for this trip. Since almost every stop has been to look at rock formations, The Rock Trip seems appropriate.
14 Moab63Dorothy in our fixer-upper 14 Moab68Gemini Bridges From Below 
Our last week in Moab was marred by bad weather, first high winds, then snow and rain. SLC had a monster late winter storm and Moab got some it.
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Rain And Snow in Moab
However, on our last day the rain quit, the sun came out and the skies were quite clear, so we were able to drive the whole Poison Spider trail and managed some decent pictures of the Behind The Rocks area. The trail is rated one notch more difficult this year due to heavy use by ATV’s. We had no problems going up, but coming back down, I could not believe the height of ledges we went up. Sometimes they look bad going up, other times they look really difficult going down. Maybe another time, we will have all day so we can continue from Poison Spider to the Golden Spike trail.
14 Moab77 14 Moab79 The very difficult to access Behind The Rocks area from the Poison Spider trail
Trails done this trip: Bull Canyon, Day Canyon Point, Dome Plateau, Fins and Things, Hell Roaring Rim, Hey Joe, Poison Spider, Picture Frame Arch. Drove again to the start of Behind The Rocks and knew we still did not have enough Jeep or the nerve to do it. Dorothy said there was no way she was doing Hell’s Revenge. Maybe another time. 
Sunday – April 19 – We drove two hours south to The Needles District of Canyonlands. We have been here several times before. We were here last year and did half of the Elephant Hill trail before I chickened out and turned around. NPS is proposing to permit the trail soon, so that effectively means closing it to all but a lucky 10 vehicles a day. So I wanted to give it another shot.
And so we did. We got away at 8:30 and got back at 6 – a LONG day. The Jeep trail looks worse than it is in places. We had no problems. The Rubicon continues to amaze us with what she can do. Much of the trail is through long canyons on smooth dirt. I wanted to do the trail for two reasons, the primary one was to get to Chelser Park. This hiking distance to it is way beyond our endurance. We tried it last year. Looking at the map, it showed we could almost drive to it. In fact, in the parking area at the end of the trail is a sign that shows .6 miles. It does not say to where you will be in .6 miles however. We went twice that distance and still did not get to Chelser Park.
15 the needles22This is what stopped Dorothy, it’s over 40 feet high 
15 the needles26
This is what stopped me. Slipping off the narrow cedar log and breaking a leg on the way back was on my mind. On the next ledge is a large pile of boulders to scramble over.
Oh well, it was both a fund and a scenic drive.
15 the needles06 15 the needles15
What we did NOT see
Chesler-Park-Trail-Canyonlands-National-Park-Utah Pan_CheslerPark1-c3x1-c2_XL
Tuesday - April 22 – We continued south on US191 to Canyon de Chelly. A place that has been on our bucket list for years. We met Mary and David and got caught up with them. I have say that as canyons go, the Indians here had a great home. Not only scenic, but they had plentiful water.
16 canyon de chelly02 16 canyon de chelly15
16 canyon de chelly04  16 canyon de chelly11We are home bound. See you next year.

Trip Stats: 6,500 miles on KoKo. $1,800 worth of gasoline. Parking per night: $6.09. Almost 60 consecutive nights wo hookups.


  1. Enjoyed following your trip.
    Have a safe drive home.

  2. Sound like a great trip going places I would never go in the 4-Runner