Edge of The Sagebrush Sea

I went to what many people call the Sagebrush Sea almost a year ago exactly.

Much like The High Plains, this ecosystem is a harsh and beautiful terrain. It is isolated and seldom visited. And the terrain is under enormous pressure.

It is a place that is perhaps best enjoyed by letting the experience wash over you.

It is not a place that is best encountered by the miles walked. But perhaps best savored by the number of hours sat listening to the birds sing their evening song while the sun slowly sets.

And this past Memorial Day Weekend, I went to another obscure Wilderness Study Area.  A WSA by the Utah and Wyoming borders.

Another obscure area where there is minimal information. And just topo maps are available to plan out a trip.

In other words, the types of places I continue to love more and more.

I made my across Wyoming and left the highway.  My rutted dirt road was found.

The Big Empty was entered.

A suitable campsite was found above a canyon. I could see the Uintah Mountains in the distance and the Teepee mountains a bit closer. I was at one of the borders of the sagebrush ecosystem.

Looking down the draw into the canyon

An after dinner hike was taken along the canyon rim. The sunset enjoyed.

I walked along the canyon rim the following morning.

A prominent spur ridge was hiked. Commanding views of the badlands below and the mountains to the south could be seen.

And from the spur, I descended into the canyon below.

My exit point towards the rim was spied amongst the intriguing geological layers.

The loop completed and I arrived at my car.  I did an after dinner scramble to an outcropping overlooking the basin.  I savored another sunset from up high.

I listened to the evening concerto of the bird calls as I drifted to sleep. I woke up to the stars above brilliantly shining with no light pollution to mar the striking display.

The morning brought out the local citizens to say their farewells.

I left the open land of Sage Brush country and made my way back to less open Front Range.

From hundreds of people in tens of thousands of acres.  To tens of thousands of people. The change is abrupt. I need a little more open space and fewer people than where I currently find myself living.

For now, such places as the Sagebrush Sea give me the wide open spaces I desire.

All the photos…

Want to know more about this unique ecosystem? PBS has an excellent documentary that can be streamed for free.

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6 years ago

I spent a couple years of my childhood in that part of the country, and am glad to see from your photos that there are still parts of that beautiful area that haven’t been dammed up, dug up, or otherwise ruined!

Of course, evidently there are evidently a few of those bottomless clay roads left! It’s a good thing it didn’t rain while you were out there, or you might still be stuck there!

6 years ago

“I need a little more open space and fewer people,”
I hear ya, Mags.