2. Jeeper geo
4. Lucky John
1. Trip length will be about 10-14 days. Almost all of the locations will be remote, meaning that no facilities will be available. While not every trail will require 4WD, there are parts that will.
2. Dates will be April 22 through May 3
Below are an initial listing of locations. The areas on public land are usually open. Navajo Nation land rules however, have been changing over the years and this may have an impact on what we are able to do. All of this will be resolved as we plan for the trip.
1. HUNTS MESA.
Hunt’s Mesa is located in Monument Valley on Navajo Nation land. If you are a western movie fan, especially John Wayne, you have seen this area many times. It was a favorite shooting location for director John Ford. MV is spectacular to see from the valley floor, but experiencing it from the mesas above is equally so. Its kind of like seeing the Grand canyon from the rim and then seeing it while rafting the Colorado River. This is one location that has seem some changes in park rules. If we are able to drive our own vehicles to the Mesa, then the odds of visiting this area improve.
2. FABLE VALLEY
Fable Valley is located near Beef Basin (Utah). It is a very remote location tucked away in the recesses of the nearby hills, and concealed in the hill sides are some excellent Anasazi ruins, seen by few visitors. The main trail in and out of FV is located on the valley floor, from which many of the ruins can be seen. This will be a full day adventure.
3. BEEF BASIN
Beef Basin will be the base camp from which we explore Fable Valley and the numerous ruins actually located in Beef Basin. BB is in a very remote area, located south of Canyonlands National Park. Using the shortest route possible, it is a little over 100 miles of travel getting to the nearest point of civilization. Aside from the incredible scenery, Beef Basin was once home to ancient Indian tribes and the ruins of their dwellings exist today. Unlike our trips to the Navajo Nation of the past, this area is on public land and guides are not necessary to explore these sites. As sometimes happens, after our last trip to BB, I was able to find some terrific maps of the area which showed the location of some wonderful Anasazi ruins, that I did not have during the trip. This will make for some impressive finds.
4. NATURAL BRIDGES NATIONAL MONUMENT
Bridges was the first national monument in Utah, being established in 1908. This is from the National Park service information brochure:
This site can be a one day trip. Touring the sights is mostly vehicle based with some short hikes to the bridges. Camping at established sites is available on a FCFS basis. With only 13 campsites, we may not find accommodations - we’ll see. Fees are very modest. For more information, see: http://www.nps.gov/nabr/index.htm .Natural Bridges sits high on Cedar Mesa, 6,500 feet above sea level. Intermittent streams
have cut two deep canyons and three massive bridges in sandstone formed from what was
once the shore of an ancient sea. At each of the bridges, trails descend into the canyons
from the loop road. A longer trail meanders along the canyon bottoms through oak and
cottonwood groves (shown above), connecting the three bridges in one loop hike.
5. VALLEY OF THE GODS
VOTG can either be a camping spot or a 1 hour detour to another location. There are no established campsites, but some spectacular dispersed camping is available. The 17 mile dirt road through the area gives the impression of a miniature Monument Valley. This description is from Utah.com:
6. WATERHOLES CANYONValley of the Gods is a scenic backcountry area in southeastern Utah, near Mexican Hat. It is a hidden gem with scenery similar to that of nearby Monument Valley. Valley of the Gods offers isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and wide open spaces that seem to go on forever.
Located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation area and the Navajo Nation. See: http://www.summitpost.org/waterholes-canyon/716826 . Waterholes is very similar to Antelope Canyon but without the crowds. There are 3 different level of difficulty, the easiest being the most spectacular. The other levels require some form of canyoneering (rapelling) skills and the equipment to go along with the skills.
7. COAL MINE CANYON
The canyon is located near Tuba City and involves a 1.5 to 3.0 mile hike. There are conflicting stories of whether there are trails to the bottom, but for the adventurous, it may be possible. From early indications, a guide is not necessary, but if a trail is available, we may need the services of a local to get us down to the bottom of the canyon. Extremely picturesque. See http://www.yourhikeguide.com/2013/02/02 ... ne-canyon/.
8. ALSTROM POINT
AP is located on a mesa above Lake Powell with a view of Gunsite Butte. The vistas from camp are spectacular. This can be either a campsite for one evening or a two day rest stop. The picture below says it all!!
9. DARK CANYON -DRY MESA
The dry Mesa area holds some amazing scenery and camping areas. Good rest spot.
We will most likely make some changes to this itinerary, especially if we are able to have Monte Wells join our tour. So, who wants to sign up?
Some teaser shots:
One of our famous chefs preparing dinner at Alstrom Point:
Other teaser shots: