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Thread: Hole In The Rock / Ruin Park / Elephant Hill

  1. #1

    Default Hole In The Rock / Ruin Park / Elephant Hill



    Thought I'd post my 6 day adventure (April 9 - 14). The HITR Trail was quite an amazing event. It's a three day trip from the pavement (near Hite UT) and back. This trail has one of the highest pucker factors around, not to mention challenging.

    The first day (Saturday) was cold, windy and snowy. After leaving Blanding, we did a loop that took us to Lewis Lodges which are cliff dwellings embedded on a high ledge only accessible by a very narrow ledgey foot path. It was too windy to traverse as it would have made it very dangerous had a wind gust developed.

    After leaving that location, it was still snowing lightly as we went on to the next area called Hotel Rock. These dwellings are much more accessible and are in amazingly good condition. The trail continuing back down to the paved road was pretty "interesting". Steep, tippy, narrow, lock-to-lock steering, are a few descriptions, not to mention a need for spotters.

    Arriving at the bottom of the trail we ran a couple miles up Arch Canyon, which is just a few hundred yards from the bottom of Hotel Rock Trail. It was too late in the day to go to the end (another 6 miles) so we headed back to find a campsite less than a mile from the mouth of the canyon. It was pretty darn nippy (19) that night.
             

  2. #2

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    CONTINUING...............

    We left that morning (Sunday) and headed to Cal-Black Airport (aprox. 70 miles from camp) to fuel up, but for some reason no none was there (??). So we had to head 10 miles to Hite to get gas, only to find they were also closed, but they did have gas pumps that took credit cards. We filled up and headed back to the airport where the HITR Trail starts next to the airstrip.

    We got to camp (Death Valley) about 4:30 and made camp. Now the road to camp is also "interesting". Lots of stuff like previously mentioned: Steep, tippy, narrow, lock-to-lock steering, but mostly VERY bumpy!

    Everyone brought something to put in the "potluck" pot which turned out amazingly good!! After chowing down and lots of chatter around the campfire, we hit the rack. The temp that night was in the mid 30's which was much more pleasant that the previous night........

    CONTINUING TO NEXT POST............
                  

  3. #3

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    We left camp about 8:30 the next morning (Monday) to complete the final leg of the HITR Trail. Can't begin to describe my thoughts as we headed out. It's impossible to picture the hardship the Mormon travelers must have encountered along the way. What was to take them six weeks, ended up taking six MONTHS. Amazingly, there were NO deaths and one child was born on the trail. As for our group, there also were NO deaths, but NO children were born.

    We arrived at the "end" of the trail about 1pm and had a little lunch and headed back. The Mormon Trail continues for several more miles but the road is closed to vehicles. We could only view the actual Hole In The Rock through binoculars.

    The return trip back to camp was uneventful regarding mechanical issues, but was still no less difficult with the same high pucker factor rating. You DO NOT want to be out here with a catastrophic failure.

    After returning back to camp about 4pm, we heated up the leftovers and created more air pollution (campfire) before calling it a night.........................MORE..............
              

  4. #4

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    We broke camp at 8am (Tuesday) and headed out. The rest of the group headed home, which left just Frenchie (his real name) and I for the rest of the trip. We made it back to Blanding about 1:30 and got a motel room after having lunch at a little mom 'n pop diner. Felt so nice to have a hot shower and a real bed.... but then again I missed the campfire chatter.
              

  5. #5

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    After a good nights sleep and breakfast, we headed south to Canyonlands NP (via hwy 211) to start our next adventure (Wednesday): Beef Basin / Ruin Park / Elephant Hill. We stopped at a little known area just beyond Newspaper Rock called Shay Canyon to look at some petroglyphs before airing down and starting our run to Beef Basin via Cottonwood Canyon Rd.

    About 16 miles from the pavement, I told Frenchie about an area off Cottonwood Canyon Rd called the Big Pocket Overlook. He was not aware of the absolutely stunning view area.

    After that, we continued on, climbing to an elevation of almost 8300' before dropping down toward Beef Basin. Beautiful country! We located several cliff dwellings that were off the beaten path on our way to Ruin Park. More and more dwellings. At about 4pm we set up camp, but the wind started to blow and then the hail chimed in.

    Our final day,Thursday, the trail took us through the rest of Ruin Park and the outskirts of Chestler Park and then out via Elephant Hill. The weather was clear and cool. We got back to Moab about 3pm, just in time for the early-bird crowds of EJS.

    No radio or TV for six days......and now it's back to the real world.

    If you want to view all the pix: https://picasaweb.google.com/2mavalo...eat=directlink
                  

  6. #6

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    Now that's a trip!!! Thanks for posting it up

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    Wow! Great pics and story! Thanks for sharing!

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    ROKTAXI previously posted:
    "As for our group, there also were NO deaths, but NO children were born."

    We must be living in the wrong era!

    Great report, Marty. Thanks for sharing. (jealous)

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    Thanks for sharing! Great pics.

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    Very cool!

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    Sounds really sweet! Thanks for all of the pictures and the write up. I have read stuff about the Mormon Trail and what they endured before. Pretty wild. Bet that their guide was a really popular dude after about two months.....People probably were getting a little tired of "We are almost there. It is just beyond that ridge..."

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    Thanks for sharing Marty, looks like a great time!
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    Oh man, looks like a great trip. Thanks for the post.

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