Sunrise over the first of many fine campsites, this one not far west of Goblin Valley. Over the course of ten nights, we managed to completely avoid developed campgrounds, and find peaceful spots on BLM lands.
Our favourite spot was already taken, but there are many other fine camping places, tucked into bays in the cliffs to the west of Goblin Valley.
An ancient cottonwood has survived yet another flash flood, in the wash leading to the Little Wildhorse-Bell Canyon hike.
Starting up Little Wildhorse canyon.
The walls begin to narrow.....
......and get taller.
A very nice convoluted section.
Flash flooding two days prior had left several deep pools, and eventually-an impasse. Chest deep and cold with an air temp of 10 degrees- we wimped out and backtracked to the junction with Bell Canyon.
Bell featured a few easily negotiated pools, but then we were stymied by a deep water and mud-filled pothole with no safe bypass.
Heading towards Capitol Reef- we detoured a short distance down the Notom road, and found another nice camp spot along Pleasant Creek.
A morning view from camp, looking west to the domes of Capitol Reef.
At the Fruita overlook along the Navaho Knobs trail in Capitol Reef.
Leaving the Navaho Knobs trail behind, we ascended a Ponderosa pine filled side drainage and scrambled through a rock band towards a prominent fin.
Despite being known by some as "The Stegosaur", we couldn't see the resemblance. Another name-the "Sharks Fin" seems more fitting.
The sandstone plateau surrounding the fin offered some great views- here of the distant Henry Mountains.
An short scramble to the saddle below the fin.
Exploring the colourful surroundings.
Easy travel on sandstone benches before the return to the valley below, and then out on the Navaho Knobs trail.
Pectol's Pyramid from the main trail.
Evening campsite view of Capitol Reef.
Morning at the entrance to Cohab Canyon.
Cohab Canyon from above on the Frying Pan trail.
Views from Frying Pan trail.....
Following cairns across slickrock on the Frying Pan trail.
View north from the trail's highpoint.
An intriguing side canyon along the way.
Descending back to Fruita from the Cohab Canyon-Frying Pan hike.
The first of two days of hiking along the Old Sheffield road, east of Hwy. 12 between Calf Creek and Escalante. Here, the beginning of the wide wash that becomes the east fork of Big Horn canyon. Two pouroffs and a muddy pothole encountered partway down are easily bypassed on the east side.
Fall colours along the wash.
After some minor narrows, the wash becomes more canyonlike.
Narrower sections alternate with wider expanses of sandstone.
Big Horn goes on like this for about 2km, with only minor obstacles in the lower section....
A loop taking in both east and west forks of Bighorn was possible, but we returned the way we had came.
Evening view from our camping spot, just off the Old Sheffield road. If you've been to Phipps Arch- you might pick it out near the middle of the photo.
Hard to think of a better place for morning coffee.