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Southern Utah Trip - June 23-25, 2017

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--- Quote from: DaveSLC on March 03, 2017, 03:49:41 PM ---I'm game. Hole in the Rock trail is on my bucket list...

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--- End quote ---

Hole in the Rock is pretty close by! You could always go explore that on Sunday.

Updating the title and first post.

I have to go to Scout Camp this week :'(

pinchel (Rob):
Rosie, this sounds like fun. Not sure if I can do it but I'll put in our families planning calendar.

Sorry I didn't see this thread sooner, but I was up in that area last June and really enjoyed it.

Of the areas that you mentioned, I drove out to White Pocket and camped overnight.  Really enjoyed the rocks out there, but getting out there made me nervous a few times since I was doing it alone.  Some of the road is in deep sand and in big ruts and on at least one occasion I was going up hill and started to bog down, almost didn't make it up.  The other thing to consider is the road gets down to 1 lane in some parts, with deep sand banks to the side.  When I was coming out, I encountered another truck coming in. He ended up driving up on the bank to let me pass, but made sure I watched him to make sure he got back onto the road.  Since you're traveling in a small group you should be fine.  Not sure if it's better or worse during/after rain.  The Wave is by permit only and from what I could tell, they go fast, so that's why I choose White Pocket.

After leaving White Pocket the next day I drove out to Alstrom Point.  I took Smokey Mountain Road from Big Water and hit Alstrom first.  The landscape coming out of Big Water was interesting, but the drive on the spur road to get to Alstrom wasn't too interesting.  Once you are almost there, you'll come to a rocky area, where it's just solid rutted rock.  This area was slow going and really bouncy. As I recall there were several places where you could setup camp, some with makeshift fire rings already there.  The views of Powell were awesome. See my winning November 2016 ToTM photo for a pic from there.

After Alstom I drove up Smokey Mountain Road(SMR) and stopped at the burning coal seams.  I really enjoyed the drive up SMR and the views out over the valley were great.  Some of this is a shelf road and from what I've read can be very dangerous when it's wet due to the slippery clay.  The coal seams were interesting to see, but stunk of sulfur real bad.  This was a short spur off of SMR.  I have coordinates if you need them.

I camped up on SMR on a little pull off road I found and then headed down Left Hand Collett the next day. Another enjoyable drive through this canyon.  If you go that way, just before you get to Hole in the Rock road, there's a big slab of rock with Dinosaur tracks.  They are hard to see at first, but once I knew what I was looking at, I was able to see them all over the place.

I headed north on Hole in the Rock to visit the Devils Garden.  Neat set of rock formations.  After that I head south on Hole in the rock rd and did a quick hike through Dry Fork slot canyon.  This is at the same trail head as Spooky and Peek-a-boo slot canyons.  Spooky and peek-a-boo looked like fun and would have been better with a group since there were a couple places it would helpped to have a hand up/down.  Dry Fork was still cool itself and an easy hike.

The best part of the trip in to that area was the 3 day backpack into Coyote Gulch.  This is a must hike canyon.

On that trip I also hit up Capitol Reef/Burr Trail, the Little Grand Canyon/The Wedge and did the White Rim trail in Canyonlands.
If you've never done White Rim, I highly recommend it.  This was my 2nd trip.

Heading back down towards Monument Valley, there are a couple places I'd recommend seeing instead of Monument Valley proper.  I enjoyed Valley of the Gods much better than Monument Valley. Less people, no vendors selling jewelry and it was free since it was on BLM land.  It's now Bears Ear NM, so I don't know if things have changed.  The other thing that's in that area is Mulley(Mullie) Point, which is just off of UT-261 at the top of the Moki Dugway.  Mulley point is a spur road that's 4-6 miles to get to the overlooks.  From there you can see into Valley of the Gods, Monument Valley and Goosenecks State Park.  There are numerous places to setup camp near the overlooks. Moki Dugway is a cool drive in and of itself.

If you guys have any questions, need any coordinates or KML track files, please hit me up.

In for friday and saturday camping


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