OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations

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OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:55 pm


The topic this week will be destinations in the Southwest. Tom and I will be posting information about some of our favorite places to visit. Anyone with other suggestions is welcome to join us. Post up here and tell us about the trip on the net.

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by DaveK » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:26 pm


Our wilderness, remote location trips have always been amazing journeys. The American West, where all of these travels have occurred, is vast and the opportunities for exploration are enormous. The truth of the matter has always been that it would take several lifetimes to experience it all.

Recently, an area in South Eastern Utah hit the news headlines, and it seemed like a good opportunity now, in our nets, to highlight it. While I generally refer to it as Dark Canyon, there are many nearby areas by which it is also known. The Dark Canyon Wilderness is adjacent to the Southern Manti La Sal National Forest, which is directly south of Canyonlands National Park. Also Nearby are the Natural Bridges National Monument and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Together they all form a huge amount of land that are as scenically, culturally, and geographically as spectacular as anything on earth. There is one other name by which this area is known, but probably for the topography involved, and that is "Dry Mesa."

So, for the net I am going to focus on Dark Canyon and the Manti La Sal area. Within this area is a Recently created National Monument, known as the Bears Ears. They will all be the subject of the net.

The areas we will mention during the net consist entirely of dirt trails, and, as such, require vehicles that are off-road capable. Sometimes terminology can be confusing and mean different things to different people. For clarity, when I refer to "off-road", I mean roads that are not paved (or maintained, in some cases) as opposed to travel in areas where no roads or trails exist. While you could possibly make a complete trip in a 2 WD vehicle, I would certainly not recommend it. Considering lack of maintenance, poor weather, sandy conditions, and just generally tough terrain, it will be the wise traveler whose vehicle is equipped with 4WD. Additionally, and most importantly, that wise traveler WILL NOT travel alone.

Civilization, and all that this includes (like medical help, supplies, communications and fuel) are not to be found in this area. There are no facilities of any kind. This, by the way, is one of the the most important reasons why this area is so attractive. With the exception of the first category below, there is no particular order of importance.


I know we never expect to have serious mishaps during our travels, but it can be fatal to make that assumption, AND GO UNPREPARED. Our first trip to Dark Canyon consisted of 4 vehicles, which was a good start. We also were prepared with sufficient communication capabilities in the event that we needed help. In the middle of the trip, on our way to Beef Basin, we had an accident that brought the trip to a quick and unpleasant end. The accident was one over which we had no control and which we could not have reasonably foreseen. There was a lesson learned, however, and a few precautions that we were grateful we took.

While on the way to our destination we stopped to let everyone catch up and to check maps. As we turned the corner, it was at that the exact moment that a huge dead tree gave way and fell on the road. As mentioned, cell phone coverage in this entire area is almost non-existent, and this incident reinforced why we carry Ham Radios and other equipment to get help when needed. We will describe the details on the net, but this is what happened:

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The Dark Canyon area and most of the surrounding areas were heavily used in past centuries by American Indians, or the Anasazi, as they are also known. In fact, in the time frame of the 900s to the late 1100s AD, the general Four Corners area saw a population and culture that EXCEEDED anything happening in Europe at the time. Evidence of Anasazi occupation is still evident today and for the adventurous hiker, there is much to see. Neither time nor space allow a good description of this evidence, but the diligent researcher, will be greatly rewarded and will find a trip to this area, most fascinating.

Much of the cultural history of the area we will discuss is covered in detail by David Stuart in his book, Anasazi America". Stewart is an archeologist and offers an intriguing insight into the history of this area. For those who hunger for a better understanding of the history of the four Corners area of the South West, this book should be on your reading list. This is the book:

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Here are some pictures of what we discovered:

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With the right equipment, camping in remote wilderness locations can be quite comfortable:

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Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by toms » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:31 pm

White Pockets

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White pockets look like you have entered a fantasy landscape on an alien planet.

White pockets is about a 1 square mile area on the Paria Plateau in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
It is unique thin layered strata of contrasting colors with curves and ripples that make it look like waves.

One of the most photogenic places on the Paria Plateau.

White Pockets is less well known and yet is larger and has more variety that the Wave – a similar area on the Plateau.

This is a better alternative to the Wave – larger area, no permits to apply for, less hiking ; camping permitted near by so it is easier to
get pictures at sunrise / sun set;

Unlike the Wave or S. Coyote Buttes, White Pocket does not require any advance permits.

Getting There – to trail head

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I15 – St. George
Hwy 9 to 59 in Utah to
389 Fredonia to 89alt in AZ to
House Rock Rd BLM 1065 N36 43.879 W112 02.767
Pine Tree Rd BLM 1017 N36 51.689 W112 03.781
White Pocket Rd BLM 1066 N36 51.560 W112 00.656

You can also depart from Kanab, UT and take US89 and head south to Pine Tree Road.

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Easy trail if you air down and use a bit of momentum; These are not dunes so the sand is mostly flat or easy grades but continuous.
Otherwise you will be stuck almost right away in sand.
This is not a trail for a 2 WD vehicle or even an All wheel drive.

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Once there, Need to hike ¼ mile in soft sand and them roam around on sandstone up and down as you like.

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Guide books & maps
  • AZ Visitor Map – form AZ Strip BLM Field office in St George
    Indian Country Guide Map from AAA
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Year round if the road is drivable – very difficult if snow or rain

6200 feet

Cell phone signal

None – bring a sat phone & ham

Ham radio repeaters
  • Jacobs peak
    Navajo Mountain
    Spencer Bench
Access to Stores, Gas Stations, Medical facilities (distance)
Gas and supplies are available in Jacob Lake.
Closest medical facility are Kanab, Utah and Page AZ

Any special precautions, extra gas
Normal for remote travel in mountains and deserts
2 or more vehicles
Extra food, supplies, water, and gas, GPS, Sat phone

Camping options
Disbursed camping is allow – BLM normal rules

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See you on the Trail!

Badlands Off-Road

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by NotAMog » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:15 pm

Please check in KN6VL, John and KD6GCO, Bruce.

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by KA9WDX » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:16 pm

Early check in please - Thanks - Bernie

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by KAP » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:24 pm

Online check in please

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by k9atk » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:43 pm

Please check in

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by nahyaz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:44 pm

Kindly check me in:
KK6ING, Nahy


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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by Jeff-OAUSA » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:58 pm

Web check in request. Thanks, and great photos.


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Re: OAUSA Net - January 11, 2018 - Destinations


Post by HsuuJrt » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:18 pm

Please give me an early check-in.
James kg5pmn

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