Owl & Fish Creek Canyons

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,479
Friday – Sunday, April 29 – May 1, 2016


Bright green cottonwood trees line the wash in Fish Creek Canyon under a stormy sky.

This weekend Diane and I had taken Friday off work so we could head down to Cedar Mesa on a three-day backpacking trip into Fish Creek Canyon and Owl Creek Canyon. We had originally planned on driving down Thursday evening after work, but with rainy weather in the forecast we decided to stay home Thursday night and left very early on Friday morning. We passed through Moab just in time to stop for breakfast at the Moab Diner and then continued on to the Kane Gulch Ranger Station to pick up our permits. After watching the video and grabbing our permits we finished the short drive to the trailhead and got ready to start the hike.

The weather forecast was calling for rain and thunderstorms the entire weekend, but we decided to take our chances and hoped for the best. In terms of the weather, we lucked out on Friday and Saturday as we only had to duck into an alcove or under a ledge to get out of an occasional rain shower that usually didn’t last very long. However, on Sunday it began to rain pretty steadily overnight and wouldn’t stop until we were almost back to the trailhead, soaked and cold.

The beginning of the hike as we made our way to the rim of Fish Creek Canyon.



Diane stands at the edge of Fish Creek Canyon before we started our steep descent to the bottom.



The first ledge we had to down-climb was the trickiest, but it wasn’t too bad.



The views of the canyon weren’t too bad as we made our way down the steep and loose trail.





We spotted a few ruins during our descent and climbed up the other side of the canyon to check them out.



Someone had placed a couple very large pieces of pottery on the doorstep of this ruin.



Two pieces in my hand for scale.



This was probably the only ruin I was able to photograph all weekend when it wasn’t overcast out.



Diane hikes ahead of me along Fish Creek. This was really a beautiful canyon.



I spotted this boulder along the trail that had a few petroglyphs of sandals carved into it.



Our campsite for the next two nights at the confluence of Fish Creek and Owl Creek Canyons.



A little evening light along the trail that goes up Owl Creek Canyon.



We spent Saturday hiking down-canyon from the confluence past the mouth of McLoyd Canyon. I was hoping to cover more ground on this day and hopefully make it to the point I turned around when I hiked up Fish Creek Canyon a few years back, but we were slowed down by thick brush and a beaver dam that backed up the creek for a ways. It took us a while to find a route through this section of the canyon. Still, we managed to find and visit a number of ruins throughout the day.

Sunrise in Owl Creek Canyon.



A view from the confluence. Owl Creek on the left, Fish Creek on the right.



A morning reflection below our camp.



We climbed up to the first ruin we spotted on Saturday.



This little doorway was hidden under a large boulder.



Another small ruin we found after spending a little while getting past a beaver dam and through the brush.



Lines carved in the sandstone that would have been inside this structure.



Diane climbing up a ledge to visit the largest complex of ruins we would see all day.



A large rectangular room with a bunch of white and green handprints to the left.



A couple more doorways nearby.





Here’s an overview of the large complex of ruins we visited.



There was a great view over the vibrant green cottonwoods in Fish Creek Canyon from up here.



This granary blended in so well with it’s surroundings that I didn’t even notice it until I was standing right next to it.



Even though it’s pretty plain, Diane found the largest potsherd we would discover on this trip.





Sunday was the day of rain. It started raining overnight and continued to rain during our entire hike back up Owl Creek Canyon. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t really a fun day. We had to take the tent down in the rain and put it unto our packs wet. Then we had to hike almost 7 miles in a steady rain. After the first quarter mile we were both pretty much soaked through and the temperature out was a little chilly. We pretty much just put our heads down and kept moving to keep warm. We didn’t get to enjoy this canyon at all, so we will have to return again in better weather. I only took two photos the entire day (and they aren’t good photos) since I couldn’t keep my camera dry, plus my hands were too cold to operate the camera anyway.

I had to take a quick photo of Nevills Arch in the rain as we hiked below.



I also took a photo of this waterfall that we had to bypass. The steady rain meant that the creek was flowing pretty high and there were plenty of other waterfalls spilling over the rim of the canyon, too.



>> Owl & Fish Creek Canyons Photo Gallery
>> The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO
 
Wow those stormy skies look surreal! Yeah, rainy days on the trail can definitely suck, they do make the post hike meal in dry clothes and socks seem that much better though.
 
Great report. I did that hike in the opposite direction but I think it's best to do Fish first. It was August and that hike out of Fish and to the TR was grueling.
 
Thanks for sharing the great trip report and nice pics! Fish/Owl was at the top of my list for this spring. Unfortunately, I became I'll and needed surgery so that wiped out the season. I hope to get there in the fall. :)
 
Nice write up and great photos. I did the trip a few years ago with my boys when they were 7 and 10. It was a rough bushwhack in spots
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Wanderlust073 Owl Creek - Fish Creek Loop, Oct 15-17 Meet Up (Members Only) 2
DrNed Fish & Owl Creek Canyons Prep Trip Planning 7
Matt Morse Fish and Owl Creek Loop Trip Planning 0
R Owl and Fish Creek loop - Cedar Mesa Trip Planning 4
Wanderlust073 Fish and Owl Canyons overnight Backpacking 24
DrNed Fish & Owl Canyons Backpacking 11
Ben Fish and Owl Canyons, Cedar Mesa, UT Backpacking 20
TheDunedain Fish and Owl Canyons Loop October 2011 Backpacking 12
IntrepidXJ Fall Colors on Owl Creek Pass Hiking & Camping 6
IntrepidXJ Dallas Divide & Owl Creek Pass Off Road 5
Miya Pikas and Marmots and Fish, Oh Yay! Backpacking 9
Jimmy BANFF: Fish/Devon Lakes/Pipestone Highline Backpacking 5
Nico Wind River - Looking for fish (of the Golden variety) Trip Planning 9
DrNed Aerial Fish Stocking General Discussion 4
Nick Eating Fish Shioyaki Style General Discussion 0
Nick Where to fish near Salt Lake City General Discussion 8
Deadeye008 Fish Lake area of the Uintas Backpacking 10
Dan What's your favorite recipe for cooking backcountry fish? General Discussion 15
Deadeye008 Boulder Mtn & Fish Lake Hiking & Camping 3
Deadeye008 Fish brine(For smoking fish) General Discussion 0
Spud Salt Creek Canyon question Trip Planning 11
BobFink Mirror Plateau via Pelican Valley and Pelican Creek, July / August 2023 Trip Reports 12
Janice Such a GRAND Canyon - Deer Creek / Tapeats / Thunder River Backpacking 21
Jackson Little Rock Creek Backpacking 5
scatman Yellowstone's Thorofare, Headwaters of Thorofare Creek, Majo Pass, Younts Peak, Bob's Canyon, and Cub Creek - August 9, 2023 - Days 7 through 10 Backpacking 34
scatman Yellowstone's Thorofare, Headwaters of Thorofare Creek, Majo Pass, Younts Peak, Bob's Canyon, and Cub Creek - August 9, 2023 - Days 1 through 6 Backpacking 56
J South Crandall Creek and the Hoodoos Wyoming and Yellowstone? Trip Planning 3
CodyL Maple Creek or Duck Creek Drainages-YNP Trip Planning 0
J Pacific Creek or North Buffalo Fork? Teton Wilderness, Thorofare ,etc. Trip Planning 10
I Rescue Creek - Yellowstone National Park - June 3, 2023 Backpacking 15
Dreamer Slough Creek - YNP - 6/5-7/23 Backpacking 3
shredhiker Blacktail Creek June 2023 Backpacking 4
Dreamer Rescue Creek -YNP - 6/3-5/23 Backpacking 3
shredhiker Slough Creek May 2023 Backpacking 11
scatman Rescue Creek - Yellowstone National Park - June 3, 2023 Backpacking 56
Gretchen Millward Trachyte Creek via Woodruff Canyon, April 2023 Backpacking 9
I Slough Creek - Yellowstone June 5 & 6 Meet Up (Members Only) 19
scatman City Creek Loop - April 23, 2023 Hiking & Camping 8
F Thorofare/South Boundary/Wolverine Creek Trip Planning 2
scatman Rescue Creek - Yellowstone National Park Meet Up (Members Only) 19
Janice When might road to Salt Creek TH be ok? Trip Planning 23
BobFink Yellowstone South Entrance to Fox Creek via Basin Creek Cutoff - Labor Day 2022 Trip Reports 4
Janice Professor Creek / Mary Jane Canyon - mid April? Trip Planning 0
scatman North Ridge of City Creek Canyon - February 4, 2023 Hiking & Camping 17
MikeP Exploring/Calf Creek Trip Planning 28
scatman South Ridge of City Creek Canyon - January 28, 2023 Hiking & Camping 4
travel2walk Gros Ventre Wilderness: Granite Creek, West Fork Crystal Creek, Crystal Creek, & Swift Creek - June 2021 Backpacking 8
slieb Lower Muddy Creek in Winter? Trip Planning 7
scatman A Yellowstone Love Story (Bog Creek Euphoria) - September 12, 2022 Backpacking 28
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking Grand Teton National Park : Fossil Pass,Fox Creek Pass,Indian Lake,Alaska Basin,Hurricane Pass,Ice Floe Lake,& Snowdrift Lake Backpacking 19

Similar threads

Back
Top