Goblin Valley, Capitol Reef, & San Rafael Swell
2/18 - 2/20/2006
(Photos by Kurt Williams)

 
Day 1: Saturday
Candace and I left SLC around 6:00 PM and pulled into Goblin Valley ~9:00 PM, not bad considering the 20 mph speeds up Spanish in the snow. Craig & his wife Darrin had already set up a great camp just south of Temple Mountain. We spent the evening catching up around the camp fire and preparing for a cold night. 

Day 2: Sunday
The four of us headed off to check out the Hidden Splendor Mine and some of Reds Canyon, we were hoping to connect Hidden Splendor with Factory Butte, but despite the EVIDENT roads that have been there for 50+ years, it is a Wilderness Study Area now. So, we trekked back to HWY24 and headed south to Hanksville for some need fuel. After some fuel and quick grub at Blondies we left Hanksville and headed to Cainville via 24, from there we were back on dirt heading north on Cainville Wash. Highlights were the cool bridges, Bentonite Hills (really cool colors!) and remoteness. We entered Capitol Reef National Park via the east entrance. We made brief stops to check out the Lower & Uppers South Desert Overlooks & the Cathedral Valley area . We continued east and tried to make it over the HWY72 via 1000 Lakes road... but we were stopped by a couple feet of snow (growing). Craig & I did give it a hell of a try!  We backed tracked ended up going north on Cathedral Valley road and via dirt all the way up to I70. It was getting late so we hit the pavement and called it a night in Ferron at a cozy little cabin (Gil's is a great place to stay).

Day 3: Monday
Monday: We topped off the tanks in Ferron, and headed right into the Swell via Horn Silver Gulch. We headed north in search of the "dangerous river crossing" on the San Rafael River. The dry winter made a shallow crossing but it was evident it could get VERY ugly in some rain. In hopes of finally seeing the dinosaur quarry we proceeded north to Cleveland (Quarry was closed). We checked out the Desert Lake Waterfowl area, Victor Cemetery, & Mounds and headed back the Wellington for a late lunch & a soda. We spent an hour or so in Helper at the antique store (museum was closed) and bombed back to SLC.
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~600 miles in 3 days... 200+ of them in the dirt... 50 gallons of gas... Cruisers Rule! 

Camping west of Goblin Valley, Utah

Views of Goblin Valley, Utah

Views of Goblin Valley, Utah

Cold Outside! En route to the Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

Spires west of Goblin Valley, Utah

Views South of the Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

Kurt and Candace near the Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

Craig & Kurt at the end of the "runway", Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

"Runway" warning near the Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

A mine dump near Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

A view south of Hidden Splendor Mine towards Muddy Creek, Utah

Mining equipment in the foreground, Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

An old mine dump near the Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

Hidden Splendor Mine, Utah

Wild horses west of Goblin Valley, Utah

The Hollow Mountain gas station, Hanksville, Utah

Heading up Cainville Wash, Utah

View of rock formations near Cainville Wash, Utah

Eppersons BJ70 near Cainville Wash, Utah

Cainville Wash, Utah

Eppersons BJ70 near Cainville Wash, Utah

Wish you were full-sized? East of Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

View of Cainville Wash, Utah

View of Cainville Wash, Utah

 Truck & machinery near Cainville Wash, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Candace posing at Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Entering Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Starting to snow, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

The Landcruiser turns 17,000 miles since rebuild, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Our "home away from home", Ferron, Utah

Entering the San Rafael Swell from the west, Ferron, Utah

The San Rafael River, San Rafael Swell, Utah

The San Rafael River, San Rafael Swell, Utah

The San Rafael River, San Rafael Swell, Utah

The San Rafael River, San Rafael Swell, Utah

San Rafael Swell, Utah

Candace takes the seat, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Candace, still happy after 3 days on the trail, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Victor Cemetery, south of Wellington, Utah

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