Edit 2017: I made this post even vaguer than before. Please don’t use my reports as a trip guide. It is a balance between making an area known but not so connect-the-dots that it is overrun. Please, see my Bread Crumbs article for more details.
After a particularly hectic April, I really wanted an overnight trip.
A chance to sleep under the stars, relax in the quiet of nature and to get back to what I love: The simple act of walking.
The highlights of this area are four distinct canyons, desert wildflowers in full bloom and wild horses.
After dropping off a past partner at the airport for 5 AM (!), I made the drive towards the Utah border.
By 9:30 AM I was the trailhead. Even before I hoisted my pack, I spotted the first group of wild horses.
Of course, other local residents would make an appearance, too.
After a brief climb, I started my descent into a canyon.
The cactus wildflowers were blooming rather nicely.
I soon spotted another group of mustangs. A stallion, on the trail, let me know rather directly he did not appreciate my presence. I walked around him and his herd…
I continued my walk in a canyon. The seasonal stream was still flowing..but I suspect for not much longer.
I would continue to walk the canyon bottom by myself. No one around. Just me and the brilliant display of claret blooms.
I soon took a turn for another canyon. One that I would be climbing above. I could tell I was gaining elevation. The pinyon-juniper forest became thicker.
An expected spring along this trail provided fresh, clear and delicious water.
Properly hydrated, I could enjoy the scenery. The views from the canyon rim to the scenery below was fantastic.
I soon reached the Monument Rocks. The ravens flying about the main rock, with the warm and silent desert air, gave the scene an almost ethereal appearance.
Not long after, I made camp for the night. I was rather content with my spot. Looking to the Bookcliffs themselves and in a sheltered P-J forest, it was bliss.
The following morning, I made my way to another canyon and enjoyed the rugged, but picturesque trail.
I soon made my final descent into the canyon floor.
I also saw my first people in over twenty-four hours.
The trip was coming to an end.
I paused to enjoy the interesting rock formations….
..and one last view of the more desert blooms.
I soon reached my vehicle and made my way home.
A wonderful trip and just what I needed.