San Rafael Swell - The Western Slope and Lone Tree Wedge


May 29, 2013
Coming from Blue Flat and Mesa Butte we decide to head in an eastern direction at 12S 0485090 4285470. Two Miles farther - 12S 0487750 4285730 - this road turns north towards Lone Tree Crossing but we use a smaller trail to the east.

The trail is not especially difficult nor is the landscape impressive. Some views show Cedar Mountain and some smaller volcanic features.


Cedar Mountain in a distance of 8 Miles, some volcanism


We trust our USGS Maps and learn that the Butte far left is Factory Butte, but not the famous one near Hanksville


Contrary weather over Willow Springs Wash Badlands

In a short distance from the picture spot above the only dubious spot of the trail appears. A short, relatively steep and sandy decent into a small wash with an additional sharp turn. Downhill no problem but how about uphill? (There might be another faint trail leading onto the road to Lone Tree Crossing - we didn't test this one.)

One and a half Mile to the East the trail approaches Muddy Creek. Take the left spur at 12S 0492736 4284862. It ends up above the canyon where Muddy enters the Swell.


Muddy Creek Canyon (upstream) The deep cut on the other side is the mouth of Poncho Wash


Muddy Creek Canyon (downstream)


Watch your step!

Blossoms too:


Newberry's Twinpod


Sclerocactus parviflorus (?)

Driving back to the main trail and to the left leads to another view point. Distance is a little more than a Mile. Lacking a name we call it Willow Springs Wash Overlook.


High above the confluence of Muddy Creek (left) and Willow Springs Wash (right)


The last "Big Bend" of Willow Springs Wash


Willow Springs Wash Canyon


Slaughter Slopes and Cedar Mountain


Muddy Creek Canyon - Tomsich Butte and dark red Hondo Country in the background

(The German long version of this travel report)

Featured image for home page:
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
D Horseshoe Canyon or San Rafael Swell? Trip Planning 9
D San Rafael Swell Recommendations Trip Planning 9
J Bunch O' N. San Rafael Swell summit scrambles April 10-12, 2021 (now w/rock art) Hiking & Camping 3
fossana San Rafael Swell MTB and salvaged packraft weekend Everything Else 13
Stephanie B Old Woman Wash, Three Finger Petroglyphs, and Wild Horse Canyon (Backcountry Fest in the San Rafael Swell) Hiking & Camping 6
Mikjik86 Video Hiking/Camping San Rafael Swell/Goblin Valley/Horseshoe Canyon - Feb 2019 Hiking & Camping 2
J San Rafael Swell Wilderness Designations General Discussion 13
Nick Invite Backcountry Fest! - April 5-7, 2019, San Rafael Swell Meet Up (Members Only) 274
Jackson Jurassic National Monument and San Rafael Swell Conservation Area General Discussion 9
TrektheWorld The San Rafael Sure is.....Swell Hiking & Camping 1
fiber Invite Late March 3-4 day San Rafael Swell Backpacking Loop Meet Up (Members Only) 1
Devin Ashby Nate’s Canyon/ Spring Canyon San Rafael Swell Trip Planning 2
S Moab/San Rafael Swell Trip advice-family Trip Planning 6
Artemus Help Requested - Conserving the San Rafael Swell Wilderness - Interested? General Discussion 16
SwimsWithTrout Best time of year for San Rafael Swell/Cedar Mesa ? Trip Planning 4
hatchcanyon San Rafael Swell: South Fork Eagle Canyon Off Road 2
Artemus Conserving the San Rafael Swell - Interested? General Discussion 13
IntrepidXJ Legislative resolution: Drilling is ‘best use’ for Cedar Mesa and San Rafael Swell General Discussion 13
kansas Sunsets in the San Rafael Swell Trip Planning 13
kansas Hunting in San Rafael Swell Trip Planning 2
hatchcanyon San Rafael Swell - Cane Wash Off Road 4
hatchcanyon San Rafael Swell - Swaseys Leap (2006) Hiking & Camping 4
hatchcanyon San Rafael Swell - The Western Slope - Slaughter Slopes Off Road 4
hatchcanyon San Rafael Swell - The Western Slope and Mesa Butte Off Road 2
steve Invite San Rafael Swell River Float - dates TBD depending on water levels Meet Up (Members Only) 73
K This weekend: San Rafael Swell or Moab? Trip Planning 4
steve San Rafael Swell Quickie Off Road 8
PureLightImages Daughter's First Campout - San Rafael Swell Hiking & Camping 5
Dave Ding & Dang Canyons, San Rafael Swell Trip Planning 0
Udink Sid's Mountain, San Rafael Swell Trip Planning 0
PureLightImages Horsethief & Grotto - San Rafael Swell - 10.19.2012 Hiking & Camping 5
Nick Southern Baptist Canyon, San Rafael Swell Canyoneering 13
Nick Lower Black Box, San Rafael Swell Canyoneering 15
Go-deep San Rafael Swell and the Chute of Muddy Creek Trip Planning 3
HomerJ San Rafael Swell - April 2012 Hiking & Camping 14
Nick Chimney Canyon, San Rafael Swell Trip Planning 20
Tyler San Rafael Swell: Ding Canyon, upper Eardley Canyon, Arch Canyon Hiking & Camping 0
Tyler San Rafael Swell - Crack Canyon, Skylight Arch, Hiking & Camping 6
Tyler San Rafael Swell March 2009 Hiking & Camping 2
Tyler San Rafael Swell 3 days early March 2010 Hiking & Camping 2
J Moving down to Southern San Rafael Reef Wilderness for two more loop hikes April 13-14 2021 Hiking & Camping 1
J San Rafael Reef Wilderness. Rambling on the Reef March 30-31, 2021 Hiking & Camping 1
Jackson Return to the San Rafael River Gorge Backpacking 17
George_Washington_Hayduke Packrafting and Bikepacking from the San Rafael River to Muddy Creek On The Water 0
Jackson San Rafael River Backpacking 7
Udink San Rafael Fall 2015 Hiking & Camping 4
P Noob looking for solitary beauty in canyon lands, san rafael, escalante Noobs: Introduce yourself! 2
kansas San Rafael Reef Trip Planning 2
steve San Rafael River Float On The Water 5
Udink San Rafael Reef Hiking & Camping 2

Similar threads