Last week I went on my first portion of my Canyonlands Trip. I went with a group I met while living in Arizona – The Arizona Backpacker’s Club (ABC). I met up with them on Sunday since it was raining/snowing on Saturday night so I just sat in my tent and waited for it to blow over. As you can see in the pictures I woke up to a bit of snow in the morning to my surprise. The snow melted very shortly hereafter though. Then we went on a few day hikes around the area. Most of them were just cool view points or short trails.
Monday morning we set out for our first backpacking excursion. We left the Squaw Flat Campground (B) and headed up Big Springs canyon then crossed over to Elephant Canyon. We had to scramble up and down some slick rock, squeeze through cracks, and climb up and down a few ladders. But, around every corner or turn we took we were treated to one after another amazingly beautiful view. It was such a strange place to be and seemed almost alien. I guess this is why several films of alien home planets are actually filmed in this area of Utah. On one hike in particular we were going up a cool canyon with a bunch of mushroom top type rocks surrounding us. We were heading up to Druid Arch. I kept wondering when it was going to appear, especially when we headed up a box canyon. But then I turned around and there was Druid Arch. I hiked over to the base of the arch, and that was when I noticed that the view down valley (Where I had come from) was far more spectacular view than the arch itself. Now don’t get me wrong, the Druid Arch is amazing in itself, but that view down valley has to be one of my favorites. I wasn’t able to get the best picture since it was high noon and the colors are horrible. But here is my best shot at it:
After this we had to make our way up to Chesler Park, which was were we would spend the night. Chesler Park was a beautiful valley with grasses covering the whole of it. Surrounding it on all sides were needles and spires. We camped at CP1 which had an amazing view for both sunset and sunrise the next morning. Not only this but it was far from all other campsites. We were at least a mile from another soul. We woke up the next morning and after our coffee and breakfast, which gave us time to let our tents dry out, we headed back to the campground on a new trail. On the hike we did we just looped around and didn’t have to hike any of the same trails, well, except for about a 1/4th of a mile we did have to hike on a same trail. After we got back to the vehicles we headed to the Needles Outpost for a couple beers, diet coke, and some showers.