San Rafael Swell, U4WDA Winter Convention & Nine-Mile Canyon
2/2 - 2/6/2006
(Photos by Kurt Williams)

 
Day 1: Thursday
Tyson and I left SLC around 6:30, made a stop for food & fuel and hit the road for Wellington where we had planned to meet the Gardners at 9-9:30. We arrived in Wellington right around 9:15, grabbed some snacks and headed South to Huntington. We spent a few minutes in Huntington trying to find the actual road into Buckhorn, after a small loop we were on our way. We made quick time bombing down the Buckhorn Wash Road and decided to make camp somewhere near Buchhorn Wash. We settled on one of the first trails we came upon, turned out to be Furniture Draw, a killer spot to camp. We had no clue we were in an amazing gorge until the morning light  Greg kept us warm with a fire, we enjoyed the weather (warmer than SLC) and crashed ~ 1am. 

Day 2: Friday
We warmed up by the fire after a cold night, had breakfast and broke camp... we had alot of ground to cover so we wanted to get going. First stop was the Buckhorn Wash Pictograph panel, followed by some exploration at a small cave where we noted the desert big horn 

From there we were off to the Swinging Bridge, we stopped for a minute to marvel the bridges construction and surrounding landscape, and got back on the ground. The trip down to I70 was rather quick, we made great time and had plenty left to explore some more. We decided to cross I70 at Exit 129 (NOW called 131!) and head over to Dutchman Arch and the Head of Sinbad Pictographs. Amazingly it seemed like ever road we followed took us to another picto panel, ranging from dozens of paintings... to just a few.

We then crossed back under the freeway (in another culvert) and headed south to find Swaseys cabin and the Lone Warrior pictograph. We spent a few minutes checking out the cabin, and the short hike to the icebox .

From Swaseys cabin we continued to head West towards Eagle Canyon where it started to get fun. A recent snowfal left the trail a bit slippery, the fist could of ruts were getting us worried about a potentially long day. The trail continues down to the bottom of the canyon on narrow trails, surrounded by some of the most amazing landscapes you could imagine! Under the bride and back to the other side of Eagle Canyon where we decided to stay on the trail in the hopes it would take us back to I70 as we had assumed it would. Sure enough we wandered back up to I70 where we once again crossed underneath via an even narrower cement culvert. 

With some time to spare we decided to make the trip down to check out the Copper Globe Mine, a turn of the centure mining area in a seemingly hibernated state... The mine was awesome, relics, cabins, woodpiles, and some deep shafts & tunnels. With daylight running short, and our gas tanks approaching empty... we hit the trail back to I70 in hopes of reaching Green River for some fuel (and sodas) and then on to Moab.

After reaching the highway we were flagged down on the EB side of I70 by a couple of foreign kids that had run out of gas on the WB side of 70. We maneuvered onto the WB side of the freeway and gave them enough gas to get their little Saturn SUV over to Salina. 

The rest of the trip was uneventeful, we made it to Moab unscathed with enough time to setup camp prior to heading out to dinner. The four of us it up Bucks Grill at the North end of town with Mr. Steve Jackson for a great meal. After dinner we sat around the campfire, swapping storied and giving Tyson life advice 

Day 3: Saturday
Saturday came early, we made our way over to the Moab Valley in where the U4WDA breakfast was ready to go. Sgt handled the Association business, and we then headed South of town to meet for the trail runs. I had chosen Strike Ravine as it was on my "hitlist" of trails to do in Moab. A killer turnout, and a great trail. The Tacoma did me well. We finished up the trail and headed over to Area BFE for some hotdogs and chili.

Back to camp for a much needed shower, and then over the La Hacienda for some dinner... Always good food and great company  As our nightly ritual continued, Greg got a fire roaring for us and we say around chatting for hours. ~10:30 I got a call from a good freind Richard who had been in town for the Association run. Richard had driven his bone stock 01' WJ down to town and caught a ride for the mornings trail rides. Following the trail rides Richard decided to go do some exploring, he ended up doing 99% of Kane Creek in his open diffed WJ. 

Well, Richard got stuck near the waterfall (not sure the official name) on Kane Creek and hiked out to 191 where he was able to hitch a ride into town. He called me and we were off to help get his rig out. We picked him up at his hotel, and made our way down Kane Creek to the stranded Jeep... hooked the winch cable, stacked a couple rocks and pulled him up and out. A great night adventure and a chance to use some of the new toys on my Tacoma. We made it back to the highway and bombed back to camp... bedtime! 

Day 4: Sunday
Richard showed up to our camp ~7:30am to take us out to breakfast, what better then the Pancake Haus to get the day rolling. We headed back to camp, loaded things up and said goodbye to Greg and Catheryn.

Richard decided to join us for the last leg of our trip, I was happy to have a second rig around especially considering the adventure the night before. We made quick time to Green River, tried to check out the river museum (closed on Sunday's for the season ), and continued on our way to Wellington. We arrived at Wellington, stretched out legs and swapped drivers, and Tyson started the trip up Nine-Mile Canyon. Over the next couple hours we made our way up Nine-Mile as we stopped to check out Petroglyphs, old cabins, etc, finally arriving in Myton some hours later. This is the end of the dirt as we would travel on 40 to Duchesne, Heber City (had lunch with Richard at the Wagon Wheel) and down Provo Canyon before arriving back in Sandy.

775 miles in 3 days... 200+ of them in the dirt... 



Camping in Furniture Draw Canyon, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Furniture Draw Canyon, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Cave off of the Buckhorn Wash Road, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Desert Bighorn Sheep, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Swinging Bridge, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Spire off of Buckhorn Wash, San Rafael Swell, Utah

South Buckhorn Wash, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Crossing Under I70, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Crossing Under I70, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Headed to The Head of Sinbad, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Headed to The Head of Sinbad, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Dutchman Arch, San Rafael Swell, Utah

 

Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel, San Rafael Swell, Utah

"Lone Soldier", San Rafael Swell, Utah

Swasey's Cabin, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Swasey's Ice Box, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Eagle Canyon & I70 Bridges, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Wild Horses, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Tombstone, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Copper Globe Mine, San Rafael Swell, Utah

Strike Ravine Trail, Moab, Utah

Rollover, Moab, Utah

Nine Mile Canyon Road, Utah

Nine Mile Canyon, Utah

Balance Rock, Nine Mile Canyon, Utah

Petroglyphs, Nine Mile Canyon, Utah

Nine Mile Canyon Overlooking Myton, Utah


 

 
 
 Back to Gallery