A Spring Hurrah in Moab

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
Jan 4, 2014
The weather is warming and the time finally came to escape my winter hibernation. I grabbed my friend Richard and we set off for a weekend in Moab.

We left late due to Friday work and rolled into Moab around 11PM to find it packed to the brim. Spring Break... I'll miss those days. After looking at a map of BLM campgrounds nearby we decided to head up the Colorado and see what was available around Big Bend. Our crossed fingers must have worked because we found a nice enough site in the first campground we pulled into. I was apprehensive about how warm I would be: I have a bag rated to 20 and the forecast was high 30s and I know that thirties are uncomfortable in it. I had bought a bag liner earlier in the day, but was skeptical upon pulling it out of its nice stuff sack and seeing what it was.

Aside from my usual "waking up whenever I need to roll over" first night habit, I was plenty warm. :) I give a great review for Sea to Summit's liners.

The next day we woke up with questions to ask the Arches NPS rangers. I wanted to visit Klondike Bluffs but did not know the road conditions and Richard wanted to visit the Fiery Furnace. We walked away with knowledge that I could easily make it to the Bluffs and a permit to hike in The Furnace the next day. So what to do this day?

We headed to Corona Arch. I'd never been there so was excited to see it. Richard wanted to rappel off it, so we lugged ropes along. I was not enthused by the idea, I find it disrespectful to perform a stunt trick off such a pretty thing, but luckily the ascent was more than I was going to do with my fear of exposure and lack of climbing comfort.

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The next decision was how to get atop the mesa. I wanted to visit Island in the Sky and Rich wanted to visit Dead Horse Point. We took the Long Canyon Road from the river to the top. I was apprehensive on what the condition of the road would be like. My car can take rough roads but not ROUGH roads. Luckily Long Canyon was fine. There were a couple pucker moments but we made in without hurting my baby (car.) We decided to lunch on the mesa top with a great view east.

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I was happy to be a state park employee at Dead Horse Point. The view is nice, but unless there for a sunrise I think 10 dollars is a steep price to pay. Whereas Grandview Point and the Green River Overlook as so much better plus there are generally more options at Island in the Sky. The view was so nice we stayed at Green River Overlook until the sun set. It is not the best for what I like about sunsets, being that your view is directly at the sun, but it was still quite nice.

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Next we were faced with the question of where to camp again. It was cold on the mesa with the sun gone, so we went back to the river. A nice dinner and campfire ensued. I tried my hand at some night pictures, something I'd never tried. I thought they turned out ok.

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Early the next day we were setting out into the Fiery Furnace. It had been years, easy six-eight, since I had last been in there on a ranger tour. I hoped that I'd have enough deja vu and enough of a footpath to follow to make it anywhere in that maze... I didn't. We quickly got lost, found a way, and then got lost again. I don't know. Maybe we were too focused on trying to follow a route. Maybe we should have been more free. Any way, we let the Furnace beat us.

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Somewhat defeated, we went to Klondike Bluffs to see Tower Arch. Very nice road. I kinda wish we'd just visited there. After I was content of sitting at the arch, I wanted to explore the area. The Bluffs look like a fine area to adventure in.

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Our final stop, because we still had some sunlight and time to arrive back at SLC before midnight, was the Windows area. I like the arches of that area. We walked around the Windows and were done. We stopped in Green River for a burger at Ray's Tavern. It was a great burger, but I can't say I liked the locals ' presence. Living in Green River must be rough. Or it was just our lucky night.

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It was a fun trip! YAY SPRING! I can hardly wait for more.:frantic:

Featured image for home page:
With the title of this trip report I was expecting you to have gone over Hurrah Pass!

If I knew where that was I may have! Like Nick said, we were all over the place.
Dang! What a fun trip! :D Looks like you got to see some of the good stuff in the FF, despite your feeling of defeat!
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