The quiet popular place

No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded!  –noted phlosopher Yogi Berra

Two hours from me lies the crucial cultural area of Bears Ears with its stunning canyons.

“A place to walk, to see, and to see what you see,” as a famous conservationist once declared.

Joan and I visited multiple times over the years, and there’s always more to see, savor, and appreciate.

Much to my chagrin, there’s a well-known loop, with spur canyons, that I’ve never experienced previously.

The mileage ends up as relatively short for a backpacking trip, and I thought I could walk the loop as a day hike; I suspect the number of people (relatively speaking) would not be to my liking for enjoyment.

With Joan resting her knee for a weekend and the shorter daylight hours, this loop with side options seemed a perfect loop for a November weekend.

In many ways, I am sure this loop makes a fantastic introductory one. The road is accessible by most passenger vehicles, and there’s a lot of data online, adequate trail markings, be it signs and cairns. Tellingly,  the one climb that seems to give people a sense of agita is no more complicated than some more interesting sections of trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

I found the route relaxing compared to other treks in the recent past.

I also found what I’ve grown to love about my outings in this area – the mix of cultural geography and scenic beauty makes for continuing satisfaction when I backpack.

I spent two nights walking the canyon bottoms, and the early nights did not seem limiting but instead let me get more immersed into this place.

When I moved to Moab a few years ago, I did not realize how much I’d grow to appreciate this area and how much of a home it would become for me.

The nooks and crannies of the high desert will not lose their allure anytime soon.

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