Book Cliffs Trail

Udink

Relax, slip away...
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,457
The kids and I returned to the Book Cliffs on Saturday to finish something we started more than seven years ago. In late 2006 we hiked a small portion of an old pack trail leading up through the Book Cliffs. The trail became too steep and rough for the kids, then ages 3 and 5, and on the way down we had an encounter with an unsavory character which soured the entire trip. Now, both myself and the kids are fitter and stronger and I wasn't expecting to have any difficulties. After some highway driving and a few miles of bumping down a dirt road in the same old Ford pickup, we reached the bottom of the trail and began our hike. The first quarter of the trail is fairly well discernible, albeit somewhat steep and rocky. Along that section we stopped for some rephotography, duplicating photos that I'd taken during our first hike.

Parked at the end of the road and the beginning of the trail


2006-2014 comparison


Our route will take us through the cliffs in the center


Our route


The boys nearing the base of the climb


Starting to climb


A steep but easy section through soft dirt


Boulder and Torrey getting a drink of water


Snack break


2006-2014 comparison


Climbing through a bouldery section


2006-2014 comparison


Steep, bouldery section of trail


2006-2014 comparison


We got to our previous turn-around point where the trail drops through a small saddle of clay soil. The trail briefly ascended the smooth section of clay before becoming completely lost in rocks and boulders. We zig-zagged our way up through the rugged terrain while approaching an impossible-looking cliff band. Even from just below the cliffs they look impenetrable, but once directly at the base of the cliff band one can see a gap caused by a fault that slipped vertically.

Approaching the saddle


Ascending past the saddle


Above the saddle


Even from this close, it's difficult to make out the break in the cliffs


The truck and the road we drove in on


Zig-zagging up another bouldery section


The break in the cliffs


Traversing below a cliff band


Beyond the cliff gap there was one more steep and rocky climb with very little sign of a trail. We slowly climbed until we'd gained enough elevation to traverse sideways again, putting us at the top of the Book Cliffs in a valley that leads to Little Park Wash.

Looking up at the final bouldery scramble before reaching the top


Nearing the top


Done climbing, now just to traverse a slope to a valley to the north


Michael and Bradley at the top of the trail


We rested at the top, had a snack, and explored a little bit. Michael and Bradley felt accomplished in having made it to the top, but neither was willing to continue hiking an extra half-mile to Little Park Wash. We started back down the trail, and what had taken us an hour and a half to ascend took only 35 minutes to descend.

Valley leading to Little Park Wash


View south along the top ridge of the Book Cliffs


Price River cutting across the valley below Woodside


Starting the descent


Descending the trail


Walking back to the truck


During the drive back to the highway I parked the truck and took a short walk over to what appeared to be a collapsed cabin that I'd spotted in Google Earth. Sure enough, there were timbers on the ground and a lot of old trash. Wood, barbed wire, bottles, and even railroad spikes littered the ground. I'd guess it was an old cow or sheep camp that was in use during the 50s or 60s. I took one last glimpse at the Book Cliffs before turning north onto the pavement and heading home. The mountains weren't as beautiful as the last time I'd seen them from this vantage point, but this time I left feeling much more satisfied.

Collapsed cabin


Rusty conduit


Horseshoes


Old glass bottle


Book Cliffs



Full photo gallery:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Dennis.Udink/BookCliffsTrail



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Michael

Alien from over the pond...
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
958
Well done, Dennis.
Love your comparsion pictures.

Gesendet von meinem Nexus 7 II LTE mit Tapatalk 4
 

Desertrat

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
72
Reread your post from 06, that was nuts. Glad to hear this trip turned out better for you. Nice comparison pictures.
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,398
Thanks Dennis,

The before and after are great. These guys are hardy. Pretty soon you can offload your pack weight! :cool:
 

Tater Head

Hoo are you looking at?
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
236
Love the photo comparisons and I like Art's idea of offloading weight even more! Maybe I should have kids after all?? :)
I have a couple I'm willing to give away. If you decide to take them they are yours. SORRY, NO RETURNS...:giggle:
I'm just kidding!!!
 
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