Biking the Auburn Trail / Lehigh Valley Trail

A little bridge over a stream and the railroad track crossing on the Auburn Trail, Victor, New York

A little bridge over a stream and the railroad track crossing on the Auburn Trail

A few weeks ago, I celebrated a birthday.  It was a bit of a milestone, I suppose.  Anyway, I decided that I’d like to really celebrate – like, something that lasted more than an hour or so.  So it was with great excitement that we planned a bike trip on a nearby Rails-to-Trails; about 20 miles on the Lehigh Valley Trail!

 

TackleDirect.com

 

Real train cars in Rochester Junction Park, along the Lehigh Valley Trail, New York

Real train cars in Rochester Junction Park, along the Lehigh Valley Trail

Actually, we started out at the Victor end of the Auburn Trail, then picked up …Read More

Tags: , , ,

Read Users' Comments (2)

Sahale Arm Revisited: Incredible Views!

Wildflowers, trails, and mountains from near Cascade Pass, on the way up to Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park, Washington

Wildflowers, trails, and mountains from near Cascade Pass, on the way up to Sahale Arm

If you could only do one long hike in North Cascades National Park, I’d recommend the trail up to and along Sahale Arm.  It somehow manages to get some of the best scenery in the Cascades into one 13.4 mile trail (RT; you can easily make it shorter; even going 10.5 miles will give you some of the best views) while making those views varied and always awe-inducing.  Cascades tumble down sheer cliff faces, jagged peaks tower into the sky, and a lovely blue-green lake nestled in a secluded valley are key features, while the wildflowers themselves (in season) make the trail worthwhile.  Perhaps I should stop talking here and just let the pictures tell their own story?  Or should I keep talking since the pictures don’t do the view half justice?

 

Equal Exchange - Organic and Fair Trade

 

Expansive views from near the camp atop of Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park, Washington

Expansive views from near the camp atop of Sahale Arm

The trailhead is a busy one by North Cascade standards, as the trail passes through …Read More

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Read Users' Comments (0)

12 Trails that Require Hands & Knees, River Crossings, and Other Adventures

Scrambling up Peek-a-Boo Slot Canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Scrambling up Peek-a-Boo Slot Canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Getting to the most rewarding views can be hard.  In fact, it can be very difficult.  Sometimes we just have to leave the comforts of a defined trail behind to cross the waist-deep rivers, scramble up scree and talus on our hands and knees, or brave the snowfields to get to the best of what the wilderness has to offer.  Of course, the good thing about these deterrents is that they keep most of the crowds at bay.  And the feeling of accomplishment when we “make it” is ten times greater than if we’d just ambled down a trail to the viewpoint.  At any rate, for those of us with an adventurous spirit, these 10 trails that require hands & knees, river crossings, and other adventures will be fun…if a bit daunting at times!

 

TigerDirect

 

So, without further ado, here they are, in no particular order! …Read More

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Read Users' Comments (0)

Hole in the Rock: Scramble to Lake Powell!

Scrambling down Hole in the Rock toward Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah

Scrambling down Hole in the Rock toward Lake Powell

I was shocked the other day when I found out that I’d never done a post on Hole in the Rock, at the end of Hole in the Rock Road in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (one of my favorite parks ever).  Hole in the Rock is a pretty incredible place, especially if you’re up to some scrambling and have 4×4.  The first I’m totally in for, the second, well, I don’t own a vehicle with 4×4.  But high clearance will get you pretty close (depending on road conditions), so I can get to Hole in the Rock, by hook or by crook!

 

TackleDirect.com

 

At the top of Hole in the Rock.  You don't have to scramble to see this.  Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah

At the top of Hole in the Rock. You don’t have to scramble to see this.

Actually, that was one of the great things about …Read More

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Read Users' Comments (0)

The Mist Clears Away: A Stroll at Ruby Beach

Three hikers walk through the mist on Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Three hikers walk through the mist on Ruby Beach

We arrived at Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park very early in the morning.  We hadn’t slept nearby – after hiking Third Beach the day before, all we wanted to do was find a place for supper and then go to bed – but being Easterners, our 8am happens three hours before Seattle’s, so it wasn’t hard to get people up and moving at a reasonable hour.  The beach was in sun when we first arrived…

 

Equal Exchange - Organic and Fair Trade

 

Looking down at Ruby Beach from the parking area, Olympic National Park, Washington

Looking down at Ruby Beach from the parking area

…but by the time we’d collected our water bottles and walked down the 0.1 mile trail, the mist had rolled in.  So much for a sunny beach walk!

 

Looking south from near the bottom of the trail on Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Looking south from near the bottom of the trail

Oh, well.  We’ve visited Ruby Beach in the sunshine and in the rain before, and while the first is preferable, the second is certainly cool enough to warrant walking around!

 

We crossed the small stream (you won’t get your feet wet if you’re careful) and headed for the sea stacks, about 0.2 miles down the beach.

 

Hiking toward the sea stacks on Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Hiking toward the sea stacks

The sea stacks are very cool, and so is the sea arch in one of the sea stacks.

 

The tide running through the sea arch on Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

The tide running through the sea arch

The tide was nearly high, so the waves crashing in through the arch were pretty cool!

 

So was taking pictures of my companions standing high and mostly-dry on rocks watching the tide come in.

 

Watching the incoming tide on Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Watching the incoming tide

We wandered around the sea stacks for a while, then a few of us decided to stroll north up the beach for a ways, and the others would join us after the turn of the tide.  At the time, we basically had the beach to ourselves, so we figured we’d have a pretty peaceful walk.

 

TigerDirect

 

However, walking around the first bend, we ran across some people who were really quite near a pair of bald eagles feasting on salmon on a rock.  The people got too close before I was able to get a really good picture, but here’s what I got:

 

The bald eagle, enjoying his salmon on Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

The bald eagle, enjoying his salmon

We waited around for about 30 minutes, hoping the eagle would come back to its salmon, but to no avail.  Meanwhile, though, the mist was blowing away, leaving some pretty incredible photography opportunities in its wake!

 

The mist clears away from Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

The mist clears away

Finally we gave up on the bald eagles and continued down the beach through the ever-decreasing mist.  Wow!  Beautiful!

 

Mist, looking back at Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Mist, looking back at Ruby Beach

By this time, the tide had turned and the rest of our group caught up with us.  We all enjoyed the clearing mist and great piles of driftwood for a while, then decided that we really weren’t looking for a long, arduous hike that day, so we’d better turn around at 1.6 miles.  After all, there really weren’t any more sea stacks to see until you got to the next bend (at the very least) and we’d had quite the nice beach walk the day before.

 

On the way back, we got to see a seal poking its head up out of the water.

 

A seal in the waves near Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

A seal in the waves

And on the way back the eagles were perching in an old spruce tree, so everyone got to see it!

 

Bald eagle in a tree, Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Bald eagle

And when we turned the corner back onto Ruby Beach proper?  Madhouse!  In our absence, the peaceful beach scene had turned into a circus of families, couples, and singles strolling around, shouting, playing in the sand, etc., etc., etc.  Now we were thankful we’d come so early!

 

But the mist was still clinging around the sea stacks for some more great pictures:

 

People and sea stacks on Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

People and sea stacks

We headed back up the trail to the parking area for a total hike of 3.2 miles.  It wasn’t a long hike, but it was so worth it to see the mist clear away from the beach and sea stacks.

 

Round Trip Trail Length: 3.2 miles

Highest Elevation: 60ft. (parking area)

Lowest Elevation: -13ft. (along the beach)

Net Elevation Gain / Loss: 73 ft.

Facilities: (Very busy) Primitive toilets at the trailhead

Fees: $15 per vehicle, valid 7 days.  America the Beautiful (Interagency), Senior (Golden Age), Access (Golden Access), Volunteer, Military, and Olympic Annual Passes also accepted

Trail ★★★☆☆

Road ★★★★★

Signs ★★★☆☆

Scenery ★★★★★

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

 

The mist clears away from Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

The mist clears away

Key GPS Coordinates for Ruby Beach

Parking: 47.70984N / -124.41367W (47° 42′ 35.4234″ / -124° 24′ 49.2114″) (58ft.)

Trail beginning: 47.71000N / -124.41377W (47° 42′ 36″ / -124° 24′ 49.5714″) (60 ft.)

Beach / Trail Junction: 47.71055N / -124.41501W (47° 42′ 37.9794″ / -124° 24′ 54.0354″)

Sea arch: 47.71199N / -124.41696W (47° 42′ 43.164″ / -124° 25′ 1.056″) (-13ft.)

Turned around: 47.72644N / -124.42069W (47° 43′ 35.1834″ / -124° 25′ 14.4834″) (-4ft.)

 

The gpx file for Ruby Beach can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.

GPX Download File size: 382.1 kB Downloaded 82 times

(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website.  Thanks!)

 

Driftwood on Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Driftwood on Ruby Beach

Getting to Ruby Beach

If you’re coming from the main part of Olympic National Park, from Port Angeles, drive 83 miles on Hwy-101 S/US-101W to Ruby Beach, on your right.  This is 14 miles south of the road that leads to the Hoh Rain Forest.

 

If you’re coming from the south, take Hwy-101 E/US-101 N from Aberdeen, WA 80 miles to Ruby Beach, on your left.  Keep a close watch for where Hwy 101 goes, especially in Aberdeen, so you don’t accidently get off the right road.

 

Visual trail map of Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Visual trail map of Ruby Beach

This Week’s Featured Product!

With so many good hikes, this book is a great resource while hiking the Olympic peninsula!  Although it includes many beach walks (including Ruby Beach), it also covers mountain hikes, rain forests, and more.

 



Introducing next-generation trail guides for the Northwest. We asked hikers what they want in a trail guide today and this is what they said: more day hikes, with options for extending the trip; hike selection conveniently arranged by highway and travel corridors; more hikes close to urban centers; more year-round hikes at low elevation; clear driving directions; a portable size; and more use of color.

To meet the needs of the modern hiker, The Mountaineers Books introduces its new Day Hiking guidebook series, written by Northwest residents with impressive hiking resumes. These guides provide accurate information in attractive, high-quality packaging and are infused with the environmental ethic that distinguishes The Mountaineers Books from other outdoor publishers.

List Price: $18.95 USD
New From: $11.73 USD In Stock
Used from: $9.87 USD In Stock

 

TackleDirect.com

Tags: , , ,

Read Users' Comments (0)

eBook Review: Hidden Gems of the Western United States

Hidden Gems of the Western United States by Daniel Gillaspia

Hidden Gems of the Western United States by Daniel Gillaspia

Imagine a travel book that overviews about 130 off-the-beaten-path destinations in the western US states?  A book that gives historical, geological, and zoological information for a wide variety of parks that will pique the interest of almost anyone?  That’s what Daniel Gillaspia has tried to accomplish with his recently-released book Hidden Gems of the Western United States.  I’ll say that he more or less succeeds, too.  There are so many different options in this book for places I’ve been and places I haven’t been that it’s becoming a first place for me to stop and look for destinations for future trips.

 

Best Laptop Deals at TigerDirect

 

I thought I’d share my thoughts on it with all of you…so …Read More

Tags: , , , ,

Read Users' Comments (0)

Holden Beach Rental House Review: Starboard 899 OBW

The view from the back porch of Starboard, 899 Ocean Blvd W, Holden Beach, North Carolina

The view from the back porch of Starboard, 899 Ocean Blvd W

Every time we decide to go to Holden Beach, the houses that are available are different.  It doesn’t help that we’re usually making our reservations last-minute, often within a week or two of the rental dates.  Still, it’s always exciting to discover a new house and enjoy some else’s décor for a week.

 

TigerDirect

 

This time, we chose half of a duplex, Starboard (the other side is …Read More

Tags:

Read Users' Comments (0)

Table Mountain near Mt. Baker

Views of Mt. Baker from the trail up Table Mountain, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Views of Mt. Baker from the trail up Table Mountain

Ok, so maybe you can’t do Ptarmigan Ridge.  You’d love to see those views, but you just can’t make such a long hike, especially over permanent snow fields.  Well, don’t despair.  There are two trails that give you similar (if not quite as intimate) views: the Artist Ridge Trail (1.5 miles RT) and the topic of this post, Table Mountain (3 miles RT).  The peak is best visited in the morning, due to the position of the mountain to Mount Baker (Baker is best in the morning, and Shuksan is best in the afternoon, at least from this part of the Mount Baker Highway).  When I did the trail, in late July after an unseasonably hot and dry few weeks, Table Mountain was still quite snowy on top, but that wasn’t an issue: simply take to the snow instead of trying to work your way through streams, mud, and encroaching snowfields on the real trail.

 

Equal Exchange Chocolates - Always Small Farmer Grown

 

The volcanic top of Table Mountain from near the beginning of the trail, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

The volcanic top of Table Mountain from near the beginning of the trail

The trail begins near the large sign on the far right end of …Read More

Tags: , , , ,

Read Users' Comments (0)

DIY Hard Sided Roof Top Camper

Morning in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah or Arizona, after a night in our hard sided roof top camper

Morning in Glen Canyon NRA after a night in our hard sided roof top camper

Or, How to Sleep On Top of Your Vehicle for Just Over $100

 

We used to sleep in a tent.  That was when we crossed the country in a big blue station wagon.  Not long after getting a full-size van, the kids figured out we could all sleep inside the van instead of sleeping in a tent (yes, it was their idea, and they loved it!).  It was fun, if a little crowded, and saved us many $$$ in camping and motel fees in the first trip alone.  However, as the group size grew, we ran out of space.  Just how many growing children and full-grown adults can you fit on the seats, on the floor, and so on of one van?

 

TigerDirect

 

In Joshua Tree National Park, California with our diy hard sided roof top camper

In Joshua Tree National Park, California

So, one very creative member of the group decided he could build us a contraption that would allow several people to sleep on the roof, rain or shine.  A tent didn’t sound like a good idea; beyond the fact that it would have to be dried out after every rain (we didn’t miss the days of drying a tent – that’s for sure!), he was pretty sure the roof wouldn’t handle the weight very well.

 

Morning in our diy hard sided roof top camper at Anticline Overlook in Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Utah

Morning at Anticline Overlook in Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Utah

After a lot of research (mostly focusing on the roof-top campers used by people in the Outback of Australia), he had a stroke of genius: why not buy a cheap truck cap, mount it on plywood, and then attach it to roof racks on top of the van?

 

Inside the hard sided roof top camper...the sleepers are still inside their sleeping bags :-)  This was in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Inside the roof top camper…the sleepers are still inside their sleeping bags :-) This was in Big Bend NP, TX.  BTW, the blue is hard foam insulation we fitted for the inside for winter trips.  We cut holes for the windows, which is necessary for ventilation (you can see the sunrise through the hole).

It worked!  And it cost a fraction of a professionally built hard sided roof top camper, not to mention the shipping cost to send it from Australia! Including all the hardware, etc., I think we paid $104 for everything on the first build.

 

Yes, there was a second build…he’d planned on a short-term solution (hopefully to get us through a couple years), but that was 2006.  Since we’re still using it, we had to do a few major repairs on it once (since it wasn’t supposed to last this long, we added some better hardware, wood, etc., a couple years back).

 

Equal Exchange - Organic and Fair Trade

 

So here it is…a DIY hard sided roof top camper…or as we’ve come to call it, our “roof top hotel”.

 

Materials for a DIY Hard Sided Roof Top Camper

Note: Before you get too far, you may want to weigh your materials and get roof racks that can handle the weight.  We had some trouble finding roof racks – let alone affordable roof racks – that were made for more weight than a canoe.  Also , you might want to check and make sure that your vehicle can handle the weight, as well.

 

Making the base for the roof top camper

Making the base for the rooftop camper

1 used truck cap – ours measured about the width of the top of the van.  We picked up ours at a local junkyard for about $50.  Now, I’d pick one up on Craigslist for free or very little $.

½ thick plywood – cut to the size just slightly less than the size of the bottom of the truck cap.  (You will likely end up needing more than once piece to cover the entire floor of the truck cap.)

1 x 2 ½ in. furring strips – put around the outside of the pieces of plywood (on what would be the bottom of the hard sided roof top camper).  Then put strips laterally along where you expect the roof racks to be (1 foot from each end and one in the very middle for us).  Then put spacers between the lateral strips for structural soundness. (See the diagram – I haven’t explained it very well.)  We used flat-head screws to attach the strips to the plywood.

 

Diagram of the furring strip placements on the plywood base for our diy hard sided roof top camper

Diagram of the furring strip placements on the plywood base

We then coated the whole thing with water-repellent wood preservative.

 

Next, we placed the truck cap on top of the plywood base.  We caulked between the cap and the plywood base using rope calk
to keep the water from coming in if it rained.  It’s worked pretty well, although after the revisions it’s leaked a bit more so we’ve had to be more careful.  Then screw it down with wood screws.  (The reason for using wood screws rather than, say, carriage bolts was because we wanted to make as few holes as possible.)  We put more rope calk around the outside at this point; this was perfectly waterproof the first time, at least.  We always take rope calk with us so if something begins to leak, we can add more calk (which has worked better or worse depending on the situation).  (Actually, our first rainstorm with the roof top hotel was in a torrential downpour in Oklahoma…although we’d hoped for a gentler rain to try it out, we figured if it could handle that, it could handle anything!)

 

Driving the Potash Road, our diy hard sided roof top camper and all! Outside of Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Driving the Potash Road, roof top camper and all!

We connected our hard sided roof top camper to three roof racks – we made those, too, using some old hardware we had lying around – by attaching the roof racks to the plywood base about 1 foot from each end and the third on in the center, placing the roof racks where we’d placed the lateral furring strips mentioned above.  We attached to the roof racks by using U-bolts around the roof racks going around the furring strips, up through the plywood base, and into the flange at the base of the cap.  In the center, we used two carriage bolts from the top through the plywood base to attach to the roof rack.  (You should be able to see some of this in the pictures.)

 

Testing out just the base before adding the truck cap to our diy hard sided roof top camper

Testing out just the base before adding the truck cap

At this point, the truck cap was too heavy for us to lift onto the van.  Even with a few strong guys around, we had major trouble lifting it high enough to get it onto the top of the van.  We had originally thought we could take it apart and reassemble it on top, but that was going to be a bit complicated.  For a few years, we’d build sand piles around the van to walk up to lift it, but again, that wasn’t a very good solution.  Finally we purchased a winch – and that works great :-)

 

Another view of testing out the base of the hard sided roof top camper.

Another view of testing out the base

We put a wind deflector in front of our hard sided roof top camper and found we saved about $0.03/gallon.  We originally purchased one from a local RV store, but ended up extending it (using lauan plywood, then coating it with weather preservative) since it really wasn’t tall enough.  We also tried to purchase a ladder for the back door so we could climb up, but since the ladder never arrived, we ended up using an old wooden ladder (just make sure it’s lightweight).  The problem with this is finding someplace to stuff it at night when we’re sleeping in the cap (sometimes we can lay it across the top of the seats in the van or underneath the van, depending on where we are and how wet the ladder is – during the day, the ladder (and a lot of our camping gear) lives inside the cap).

 

Our first wind deflector was a bit short - we used the spare tire for a spacer between the roof top camper and the deflector.  Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Our first wind deflector was a bit short – we used the spare tire for a spacer between the roof top camper and the deflector. We’re in Saguaro NP, BTW

If you use this post to make your own hard sided roof top camper, let me know!  Just leave a message in the comments below and, if you can, include a link to some pictures of your creation also in the comment field (just don’t fill in the URL field or I won’t see it!)

 

Another morning in our diy hard sided roof top camper in...well...somewhere out west...

Another morning in…well…somewhere out west…

Note: This is posted for your enjoyment and use; however, I cannot be held responsible for anything that happens while making, using, or in any other way associated with this tutorial or a roof top camper, even through negligence on my part or yours.  Using this tutorial in part or in whole means that you agree that I am not liable.

 

TackleDirect.com

Tags: ,

Read Users' Comments (1)

Canyon Views at Canyon Rims and Celebrating 5 Years!

Views toward Dead Horse Point State Park from Canyonlands Overlook in Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Utah

Views toward Dead Horse Point State Park from Canyonlands Overlook in Canyon Rims Recreation Area

Wow!  It’s so hard to believe that it’s been 5 whole years since I started this blog.  Yep, I started posting about my crazy adventures hiking the wilderness and not-so-wilderness of the US in March of 2010.  Since then, we’ve traveled so far, shared so many memories, and began posting so many more pictures (would you believe that my first post originally didn’t include any pictures at all?!?)  Over 265 posts later, I don’t think I’ve completely run out of material…yet…but to celebrate, I thought I’d repost my very first blog entry.  It’s about a fun little wilderness park south of Moab, Utah called Canyon Rims Recreation Area.  I’ll also post a whole lot more pictures than the original and add a few comments, too :-)

 

Equal Exchange - Organic and Fair Trade

 

The La Sal Mountains from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

The La Sal Mountains from Anticline Overlook

Canyon Rims Recreation Area (now Canyon Rims Special Recreation Management Area) is a fairly small, fairly undeveloped park that overlooks Canyonlands National Park.  It can be compared to Dead Horse State Park and Island in the Sky (Canyonlands National Park), but this is better than either one, offering stunning views of the Colorado and Green rivers and the heart of Canyonlands itself.  (Canyon Rims also lacks the crowds of Canyonlands and Dead Horse State Park.)  The park is located about thirty two miles south of Moab on Utah 191.  (Six miles north of entrance to the Needles district of Canyonlands, and twenty miles north of Monticello on Utah 191.)

 

One of the viewing areas at Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

One of the viewing areas at Anticline Overlook

The road into Canyon Rims is paved, unlike many (ok, the rest) of the roads in the park.  The rest of the roads are gravel, and which are readily accessible by a low clearance vehicle, although some sections of the road have quite a bit of washboard, which makes for slower driving, and a few roads are dirt and accessible only to those with 4×4.  Follow the paved road past one of the campgrounds (Windwhistle Campground) and to a Y in the road.  If you take the left fork, it will take you on a paved road to the Needles Overlook.

 

Views toward the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park from the Needles Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

Views toward the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park from the Needles Overlook

This is a spectacular overlook with a paved parking lot, port-a-potties, and a picnic area overlooking the Needles District of Canyonlands.  It also has some nice trails that take you around the edge of the canyon, giving you a very nice view of the needles and the rest of that part of the canyon.  It’s totally spectacular, especially around sunset.  One word of caution is that there are also a lot of steep drop offs at this overlook, with only a fence to keep you away from the edge—somehow those fences look awfully flimsy on the edge of such a drop!

 

Sunset at Needles Overlook - the fences, as sturdy as they are, look pretty flimsy on the edge of the dropoff!  Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

Sunset at Needles Overlook – the fences, as sturdy as they are, look pretty flimsy on the edge of the dropoff!

If you go back and take the right fork of the road, it goes down a good gravel road to some other overlooks.  The first road off the main dirt road is on the right and goes to Hatch Point Campground (which is pretty primitive by national park standards, but not too terrible if you like the security of sleeping in a campground).

 

TackleDirect.com
 

The road to Miner Overlook from the top of the butte.  The La Sal Mountains are on the horizon.  Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

The road to Miner Overlook from the top of the butte. The La Sal Mountains are on the horizon.

The next road off the main road is on the left and goes to Canyonlands Overlook.  This road in not as good as the main road, and is likely to be impassable to two wheel drive low clearance vehicles.  We made it most of the way down the road in a two-wheel-drive high-clearance van, but about a mile from the end of the road, the road became impassible to two wheel drive vehicles, so we walked the last mile to the overlook.

 

The road to Canyonlands Overlook...we decided walking was safer than driving!  Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Utah

The road to Canyonlands Overlook…we decided walking was safer than driving!

Another picture of the road to Canyonlands Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Utah

Another picture of the road to Canyonlands Overlook…

And even more pictures of the road to Canyonlands Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Utah

And even more pictures of the road to Canyonlands Overlook!

Even though it is a bad road, if you can make it out to the overlook you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful views in the entire park (which I still agree with!).  The view allows you to see all the way from The Needles in the south to Island in the Sky to the north and The Maze to the west.  You can also see further north beyond Island in the Sky, and if you look a little bit to the northwest you can see Dead Horse Point State Park.  This overlook does not have any fences around the edges of the canyon, and it is a very long way down.  The only facility at the end of this road is a small dirt parking area and a port-a-potty.

 

Views from near the road before arriving at Canyonlands Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

Views from near the road before arriving at Canyonlands Overlook – we’re looking into Dead Horse Point State Park from the other side of the canyon.

The next overlook off the main road is on the left and goes to Miner Overlook.  This overlook is a road that goes to the edge of the canyon and loops around a butte and gives more nice views of a part of the canyon that looks more like the Grand Canyon.  It’s a great little stop with some really rewarding views.  If you climb (scramble) up onto the top of the butte that the road circles, you can look east and have a nice view of the La Sal Mountains and other rock formations to the east.

 

Scrambling up the butte at Miner Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

Scrambling up the butte at Miner Overlook

The next marked road off the main road is on the right and goes to Trough Springs, which is a hiking trial (a hiking trial?  No court of law here!) trail that descends into Kane Creek Canyon on an old cattle road.  It is 2.5 miles long and descends 1100 feet.

 

Views from on top of the butte at Miner Overlook

Views from on top of the butte at Miner Overlook

At the end of the main road is Anticline Overlook.  This overlook gives you a look at beautiful views of a different part of the canyon that has different rock formations than at the other end of the canyon.  It is a must-do for anyone who likes crazy roads: from the overlook we saw ATVs and jeeps going up and down a road that would give an engineer the shivers (and certainly inspired the aspiring engineers in the group!).  It twists and turns, and eventually crosses a butte.  You can also see the potash plant that is on the other side of Moab, and there are some educational signs about the forming of the canyon and how potash is made.  Anticline Overlook also has picnic tables and port-a-potties at it.

 

The view toward Potash from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

The view toward Potash from Anticline Overlook

Canyon Rims Recreation Area is not very well known, but it is a must do for anyone traveling between Moab and Monticello—the views won’t let you down.

 

Views from near the road on the way to Canyonlands Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

Views from near the road on the way to Canyonlands Overlook

Entrance Fee: None

Open: All year

Closed: Some of the dirt roads may be impassible after it rains

Camping: The park has two campgrounds, one on the paved road and one on the unpaved part of the road.  Fees are $12/night (3/10) (now they’re up to $15/night), and both campgrounds have toilets, water (mid-April through late-September), and picnic tables.  Windwhistle campground has 15 sites, Hatch Point, 10.

Lodging: None.  The closest lodging is in Monticello, over 20 miles away.

 

The La Sal Mountains from the top of the butte over Miner Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

The La Sal Mountains from the top of the butte over Miner Overlook

And now for some little gadgets I’ve added over the years…

 

Road ★★★☆☆

Signs ★★☆☆☆

Scenery ★★★★★

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Views from Miner Overlook, Canyon Rims Special Management Recreation Area, Utah

Views from Miner Overlook

This Week’s Featured Product!

Love scenic drives?  This book covers 25 itineraries through (what I would consider) some of the most extraordinary scenery in the US.

 


Scenic Driving Utah (Paperback)

By (author): Christy Karras

Discover Utah with over 25 recommended drives. Scenic Driving Utah provides indispensable information, including directions and a map for each itinerary, in-depth descriptions of attractions and points of interest, travel tips, and more. In addition to the text being fully revised and updated, the 3rd edition features a new cover treatment.

List Price: $15.95 USD
New From: $9.06 USD In Stock
Used from: $9.05 USD In Stock

 

 

Partly Cloudy
Wednesday Wed May 27 20%
Partly Cloudy
A mix of clouds and sun. High around 70F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear
Thursday Thu May 28 20%
Clear
Sunny along with a few clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High near 70F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear
Friday Fri May 29 0%
Clear
A mainly sunny sky. High 71F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear
Saturday Sat May 30 0%
Clear
Sunny along with a few clouds. High 74F. Winds light and variable.
Clear
Sunday Sun May 31 0%
Clear
Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 78F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

 

TigerDirect

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Read Users' Comments (0)

 Page 1 of 28  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »