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High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

February 18, 2009

Moab Trip 2009 — Feb 18 (Day 3)

Filed under: Moab Trip 2009,Photography — Mike U @ 11:04 pm

Well it is late evening Wednesday 18th, and I’m still recovering from one exhaustive and long day hike!  This was the most strenuous hike I’ve ever taken, topping the Osprey Falls hike in Yellowstone a couple years ago.  I hiked the Syncline Loop Trail in Canyonlands NP, hitting the trail around 9:45am MST or so.  Prior to this, I photographed sunrise at Dead Horse Point State Park.  I shot this last year, but it was cloudy the morning I went, so I decided to re-shoot this scene with better light hopefully.  I wasn’t disappointed as there was pretty good light at sunrise.  I wish there were a little more cirrus clouds for some increased sky interest, but I’m not really compaining.  Back to the hike, this was an all-dayer.  Total distance covered was around 8 miles which dips down into the Syncline Valley in the Upheaval Dome portion of Canyonlands.  After about 1.5 miles, the hike descended rapidly some 1,300 feet in a matter of a mile and a half or so before reaching the bottom.  Some really pretty canyon scenes on this descent.  Eventually, at around the 4 mile mark, I had to climb back up.  The initial part of the climb was pretty steep, and I had to negotiate a few large rocks, which I had to take it slow through and concentrate more… but nothing a good pair of hiking shoes and a makeshift hiking pole (a large tree branch) couldn’t handle.   I finally made it back to the trailhead around 4:15pm MST or so.  After I got back, I decided to shoot sunset from one of the large overviews — Grand View Point.  Tomorrow, I plan to wake up very early and drive to Mesa Arch and shoot that again… since last year I didn’t have the best light.  I think clouds will be essentially non-existent at sunrise.  After that, I’m just going to come back to the motel and get caught up on some rest for awhile and decide where I want to shoot late afternoon/sunset.  I may give the Needles section a try, which is about an hour south of Moab.  I got my big hike out of the way that I wanted to do, so the remaining days will be a little less strenuous in that department!









  1. Beautiful photos Mike, that is a very interesting looking place.
    Have you been to upheaval crater? I saw it on a sci show a few years ago and have been wanting to make a trip to see it for a while now. After looking at your lovely shots here, I think we may have to bump that trip up the list.

    Comment by Pat Boomer — February 19, 2009 @ 3:15 am

  2. After a bit more research and googlearthing, I now realize you were hiked all the way around the crater.
    I can see why you were tired! That looks like less than a goat path.
    “This trail is very strenuous,
    often difficult to follow, and recommended for
    experienced hikers only. The trail has sections
    of steep terrain, some areas require scrambling,
    and is always uphill on the way out!”

    Have you been to the crater overlooks? And are there any sherpas around there for old folks to hire?

    Comment by Pat Boomer — February 19, 2009 @ 4:18 am

  3. Of all the NP parks in the southwest Canyonlands is my favorite. My best visit was new years day 2004 where I had Dead Horse Point all to my self for an incredible pinks and purples sunrise. The whole area had received about 1.5 inches of snowfall for great highlights of the red rock terrain. I got great 6×7 MF shots and a 6×17 MF panoramic tha hangs over the living room mantel as a 30″x60″ image. Enjoy viewing your photo trips as well as your chases so keep them coming.

    Carson Eads
    Allen, TX.

    Comment by Carson Eads — June 21, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

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