Posted by: dave c
at 00:00, May 11 2010.
This outing started with a couple of days rock climbing in Paradox Valley. I reported on that part of the trip in TrailMix (Denver Post) and also posted some photos on this site on my TrailMix blog. To see the Denver Post article, go to http://www.denverpost.com/trailmix/ci_14985440
After leaving the Paradox Valley, Ginni and I continued west to Hovenweep National Monument, one of my favorite spots.
The next morning we drove to the nearby Cross Canyon WSA, part of the Canyons of the Ancients. Cross Canyon extends for many miles and would require a multi-day backpack to traverse, but a day hike allows you to access some of the thousands of archeological sites in this unspoiled canyon. Sites are not always obvious and in most cases have not been restored, so exploration is needed to locate likely spots.
We arrived back at Hovenweep just in time to witness another spectacular sunset.
The following day we drove to Mesa Verde, but were too early in the year to see much, so we decided to postpone that trip to a later date. From there we drove to The Needles section of Canyonlands National Park. A dust storm reduced visibility, so I was reduced to taking photos mainly of closeups. We spent the day hiking some of the more remote canyons, complete with old wooden ladders to bypass difficult climbs.
The next day we headed up to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands, where we would spend the next few days. The views from here are spectacular and well worth a visit. Hikes included a visit to Upheaval Dome and hike down Murphy Canyon to the White Rim. Sunrises and sunsets were spent around the Green River Overlook and Mesa Arch.