Arizona/Nevada – Winter 2016

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Cool Danish

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
127
I had a long weekend coming up and the weather looked promising for winter camping with clear skies. So I decided to do a short solo-trip to the Paria Plateau area without any concrete plans, just play it by ear and explore.

Friday, December 2, 2016
Home to Cottonwood Cove

I left my home in southern California early in the morning and made the long drive towards Utah. Around 2pm I made it to St. George and stopped by the BLM office there to see if there were any available Coyote Butte permits. The ranger called the Kanab office and was able to reserve a CB South permit for the next day, but I had to pick it up in Kanab before 4pm. I easily made it and was soon off towards the Paria Plateau with permit in hand and a full tank of gas. The shadows were getting long as I drove past Paw Hole on my way to Cottonwood Cove.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-1.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-2.jpg


I call this one the pirate ship on a wave :thumbsup:
UT_AZ_NV_2016-3.jpg


I drove past Poverty Flat and all the way out to the end of the sandy two track. I quickly got my tent set up and was able to catch the sunset over Coyote Buttes. After a quick dinner and a warm cup of coffee, I got in my comfy down sleeping bag and read a little before going to sleep.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-4.jpg


Saturday, December 3, 2016
Cottonwood Cove to Death Pockets

It was a cold night and the Jeep was covered in frost in the morning. I think the temperature gauge in the Jeep read 17F. I quickly made some coffee , packed a few breakfast snacks and started my hike into Coyote Buttes South. The colors and textures were great in the morning light.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-5.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-6.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-7.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-8.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-9.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-10.jpg


Half & Half.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-11.jpg


Mini arch.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-12.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-13.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-14.jpg


Woody wood pecker?
UT_AZ_NV_2016-15.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-16.jpg


Control Tower.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-17.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-18.jpg


After exploring CBS for several hours I walked out to the road and over to check out "The Chess Queen".
I walked back to the Jeep, ate lunch and then packed up camp.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-19.jpg


Next I drove off the Plateau towards Page AZ and headed out to an area I have wanted to explore for a while. My destination was called Death Pockets, but first I drove up to the edge of Paria River Canyon and enjoyed the view down on Lee's Ferry where the Paria River joins the Colorado River.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-30.jpg


On the drive over to Death Pockets I saw a Big Horn Sheep run cross the trail and then up the side of the cliff.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-29.jpg


Eventually I reached the end of the trail at an area called Death Pockets on the TOPO map. You can see Marble Canyon in the middle of the picture and Navajo Mountain and the Page Coal power plant on the left side of the horizon.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-20.jpg


I hiked on the slick rock out to the Colorado River for the sunset. I didn't have enough time to find a better spot for a good sunset picture, so these will have to do.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-21.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-22.jpg


On the way back to the jeep I found this large alcove.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-23.jpg


I decided that I didn't want to camp out another night in freezing temperatures, so I drove out back out the sandy trail to SR-89 and drove west to a hotel room in Mt. Carmel Junction.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-24.jpg


Sunday, December 4, 2016
Mt. Carmel Junction to Home

I got up early next morning and started the long drive back home. In Mesquite I made a side trip out Gold Butte Road to visit Little Finland. For some reason I didn't get any good pictures, even though there were plenty of nice formations.
UT_AZ_NV_2016-25.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-26.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-27.jpg


UT_AZ_NV_2016-28.jpg


After exploring a few hours, I made it home 5 hours later. It had been a nice long weekend to break up the winter.
 
Last edited:

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Ben

Member
.
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
1,743
great looking trip, thanks for sharing.
 

Glasterpiece

Member
.
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Messages
494
My destination was called Death Pockets, but first I drove up to the edge of Paria River Canyon and enjoyed the view down on Lee's Ferry where the Paria River joins the Colorado River.
Can you tell me about getting to that overlook? Is that close to the road? I seek high overlooks that I can drive to and observe thunderstorms during the monsoon. I'm looking to be in that area this summer.

Thank you for the TR. Beautiful pics.
 

Cool Danish

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
127
Can you tell me about getting to that overlook? Is that close to the road? I seek high overlooks that I can drive to and observe thunderstorms during the monsoon. I'm looking to be in that area this summer.

Thank you for the TR. Beautiful pics.
The overlook I drove up to is at the end of an access trail to some radio towers. Here is where the picture is taken from: 36.880514, -111.586596.
It requires 4x4 and high clearance as there is deep sand in many places. Some of the trail is actually in a sandy wash.
I accessed the trail from Hwy 89 just North of Glenn Canyon Dam here: 36.938051, -111.493949
I have attached some GPX files. Hopeful you can read them.
 

Attachments

Titans

Member
.
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
619
Just gorgeous photos, I love it @Cool Danish . We were at the Wave Dec 7,2016 just a few days after you, but I always wanted to see Coyote Butte South and your pictures show how beautiful it is. Thanks for sharing, we will be tracking your footsteps to Cottonwood Cove this coming December and I secured some permits yesterday. Now.... I had been trying to convince myself and Rick to car camp outside Coyote Butte South this December, knowing it will likely dip into the teens. We are used to frigid weather and hiking in single digits, but it's a whole other event, when it gets dark at 5 pm, light at 7 am and you don't hike and keep moving to stay warm.
Can you share more of how that evening and night went? Is it just too cold to do? I haven't camped for decades, so this might be a bit of a stretch. :rolleyes:
Also thanks for putting "Little Finland" on my radar again... it's been on our list for a while.
Greetings, The Danish Girl ( for real! )
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Cool Danish

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
127
Just gorgeous photos, I love it @Cool Danish . We were at the Wave Dec 7,2016 just a few days after you, but I always wanted to see Coyote Butte South and your pictures show how beautiful it is. Thanks for sharing, we will be tracking your footsteps to Cottonwood Cove this coming December and I secured some permits yesterday. Now.... I had been trying to convince myself and Rick to car camp outside Coyote Butte South this December, knowing it will likely dip into the teens. We are used to frigid weather and hiking in single digits, but it's a whole other event, when it gets dark at 5 pm, light at 7 am and you don't hike and keep moving to stay warm.
Can you share more of how that evening and night went? Is it just too cold to do? I haven't camped for decades, so this might be a bit of a stretch. :rolleyes:
Also thanks for putting "Little Finland" on my radar again... it's been on our list for a while.
Greetings, The Danish Girl ( for real! )
Hi Titans,
Winter camping in sub-freezing temperatures is not super interesting. It’s a very long cold night in the sleeping bag. There is nothing to do… I basically went in the sleeping bag as soon as the sun went down. I did it because I wanted to be right at Cottonwood Cove at sunrise.

I think a better option is probably staying at a Hotel room in either Kanab, Page or Mt. Carmel Jct. and then drive out very early in the morning. But keep in mind that from the start of House Rock Valley Rd (whether you come in from North Hwy-89 or South Hwy-89A) to Lone Pine TH is probably a good 45mins depending on how fast you like to drive in the dark. It’s probably another 15mins to Paw Hole and an additional 20mins to Cottonwood Cove TH. Make sure you have a couple of GPS waypoints for the road intersection so you can find your turns in the dark.

The good news with going in December, is that the sand will be frozen in the early morning hours and you should be able to drive all the way to Cottonwood Cove (even up the deep sand hill right after Paw Hole TH). As long as your vehicle have some height clearance and you keep your revs up going up the hill, it will be a piece of cake in the winter time. In the winter time I rarely never use 4WD on the Paria Plateau. One other thing to look out for is the Buckskin wash crossing right after a storm, when coming in from the north on House Rock Valley Rd. (Just see IntrepidXJ's Trip report!), but again in the winter morning hours the mud will most likely be frozen solid and should not present a problem.

BTW, I am a genuine Danish too.. Born and raised.. Moved to the US in the mid 90s.
 

Titans

Member
.
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
619
Hi Titans,
Winter camping in sub-freezing temperatures is not super interesting. It’s a very long cold night in the sleeping bag. There is nothing to do… I basically went in the sleeping bag as soon as the sun went down. I did it because I wanted to be right at Cottonwood Cove at sunrise.

I think a better option is probably staying at a Hotel room in either Kanab, Page or Mt. Carmel Jct. and then drive out very early in the morning. But keep in mind that from the start of House Rock Valley Rd (whether you come in from North Hwy-89 or South Hwy-89A) to Lone Pine TH is probably a good 45mins depending on how fast you like to drive in the dark. It’s probably another 15mins to Paw Hole and an additional 20mins to Cottonwood Cove TH. Make sure you have a couple of GPS waypoints for the road intersection so you can find your turns in the dark.

The good news with going in December, is that the sand will be frozen in the early morning hours and you should be able to drive all the way to Cottonwood Cove (even up the deep sand hill right after Paw Hole TH). As long as your vehicle have some height clearance and you keep your revs up going up the hill, it will be a piece of cake in the winter time. In the winter time I rarely never use 4WD on the Paria Plateau. One other thing to look out for is the Buckskin wash crossing right after a storm, when coming in from the north on House Rock Valley Rd. (Just see IntrepidXJ's Trip report!), but again in the winter morning hours the mud will most likely be frozen solid and should not present a problem.

BTW, I am a genuine Danish too.. Born and raised.. Moved to the US in the mid 90s.
Thanks so much, great info, I really appreciate it @Cool Danish ! Yah, I was concerned about a very long and cold winter night in a sleeping bag with little to nothing to do from 6 pm to 7 am or so.
 
Last edited:

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top