Southern Utah, March 2016

Udink

Disappointed, passed over.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,604
My wife and I spent the first weekend in March in the St. George area hiking, jeeping, and hanging out with friends. We arrived Thursday evening and on Friday morning we went with Sherie to Anasazi Ridge--formally known as Land Hill on the USGS topo map--south of Ivins. It's a well-known area with a ridiculously-overbuilt trail that leads to some pit houses and petroglyphs. I scrambled around the boulders and cracks looking at the rock art while Traci and Sherie relaxed at the top of the hill. We returned to Hurricane but, on the way, made a quick stop at a nice overlook of the Virgin River. That evening we joined our rowdy band of friends at Paul and Pam's house for burgers and drinks.


Pit houses on Anasazi Ridge
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Squirrel!
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Anasazi Ridge petroglyphs
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Anasazi Ridge petroglyphs
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Anasazi Ridge petroglyphs
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Santa Clara River and Red Mountains
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Anasazi Ridge petroglyphs
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Anasazi Ridge petroglyphs
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Large bighorn sheep petroglyphs
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Virgin River
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On Saturday we had a larger group and everyone piled into three Jeeps--Paul and I drove our WJs and Ken took his JK--to explore an area northwest of Coral Pink Sand Dunes. We drove past Elephant Butte, stopping briefly for a geocache, and continued north to Shunes Hollow where we parked at the end of the road at the wilderness boundary. My Grand Cherokee got stuck in the soft, deep sand several times and I had to shift into 4WD to get unstuck. I was using the 4WD sparingly, though, because of a noise coming apparently from the front driveshaft. From the parking area we made an easy 1/2-mile walk through a wash to the top of the Shunesburg mail drop. Here, in the late 1800s, mail was raised and lowered over the tall cliffs on a rope (a good history of Shunesburg and the mail drop can be found here). In the wash there were a number of different animal tracks including cougar, bobcat, and a three-toed coyote! We stopped for a couple more geocaches on the way back to the pavement, then regrouped at Eric and Sherie's place for pizza and cocktails.


Bogged down in the sand at Elephant Butte
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Zion National Park in the distance
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Rock at Elephant Butte
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End of the road in Shunes Hollow
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Hiking the wash in Shunes Hollow
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View into Shunes Creek from the mail drop
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Shunes Creek cliffs
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Shunes Creek cliffs
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Three-toed coyote tracks
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Broad Hollow
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Cabin in Broad Hollow
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The BACON8R in my mirror
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There was no set plan for Sunday, but I searched the internet and sniffed out some rock art along the Santa Clara River near Gunlock that seemed like it would make for an easy outing before having to head home. This time we had my WJ, Sherie's LJ and Ken's JK along for the drive, but we stuck mostly to paved roads. We made short hikes to a couple of places that had petroglyphs on basalt boulders. I was surprised to find a few old inscriptions, the oldest dating back to 1859. While walking along the road looking for inscriptions, Ken and I spotted what looked like a shallow alcove with soot on the ceiling. It was a sketchy climb up to it, and we found that it was actually an entrance to a short tunnel blasted through the sandstone. We followed it to the other end where it emerged, mostly buried, above the road. Later we surmised that it may have been an old irrigation tunnel--parts of a canal are visible in satellite imagery immediately downstream of the tunnel.


Santa Clara River petroglyphs
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Santa Clara River petroglyphs
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Horse petroglyphs
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Rose Young, Jan. ??, 1913
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G.A. Lincoln, Hudson, NY, 1859
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Our Jeeps parked along the highway
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Santa Clara River petroglyphs
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Santa Clara River petroglyphs
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Santa Clara River petroglyphs
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Footprint petroglyphs
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Another G.A. Lincoln inscription from May 1859
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J.M. Goltra 1859
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View out of a tunnel
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Ken on the other side of the tunnel
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We found a spot to eat lunch, then headed back to town where Traci and I packed the Jeep and started the drive home. Parts of the drive were pretty harrowing. A storm was just moving in, and before we reached Cedar City it began to snow. The roads were snowy or slushy for almost the whole rest of the drive, and after darkness fell we slowed to a crawl up Salina Canyon in white-out conditions. Finally, near Fremont Junction, we entered the rain shadow of the Wasatch Plateau and had dry roads for the rest of the drive home where our kids and doggies were eagerly waiting for us. As is almost always the case, it was difficult making the transition from warm, sunny weather to cold and snow.


Lunch spot
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Snowy drive home on I-15
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Warp speed on I-70 in Salina Canyon
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Photo Gallery: Southern Utah, March 2016
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
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Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
1,055
I remember going thru and seeing the mail drop years ago. Great stuff.
 

gnwatts

Member
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Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
1,903
Is that a scorpion on pic#7?
Great shots.
 

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
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Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
1,016
Great stuff! Who was GA Lincoln?
 

Udink

Disappointed, passed over.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,604
Who was GA Lincoln?
I've tried researching him but came up with nothing. I would guess he's an early settler of Gunlock. With two well-done inscriptions that close together, I don't think he was just passing through.
 
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