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Please note: I have had a few emails asking about the Acoma Pueblo diary's posting. It was posted on Thursday, as promised, but there was a lot of other stuff going on that day, something about March to Madness tournaments. Anyway the Acoma diary slipped through the Recent Diary list. No worries. That, and all the other myriad diaries I've posted are preserved in the main list. So, for those of you who think I forgot about Acoma (and who really can forget about this exceptional Puebloan village high atop the mesa?). . .I may repost it next week, if the oracles of the site so allow, or you can read it at this URL: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Prologue: Today, and throughout the weekend, the virtual tour presentations will lead off with a special 3-pack Utah State Park series, starting with this diary's title on a very unique landscape of singular goblin-shaped formations. Kodachrome Basin will be presented tomorrow, Saturday, and Coral Pink Sand Dunes will cap the trinity, on Sunday. The ideal thing about visiting State Parks is they are generally not as crowded as national parks or monuments. Besides, visitor entry fees add money to the state's coffers that is used for genuinely good purposes, starting with the preservation of nature and natural features. I trust those who follow along on today's tours aren't afraid of goblins and such. I mean, the imagination can sometimes do funny things to one's mind, especially here in this locale with some of the strangest honed rock features anywhere on the planet. Welcome to the tour, folks! Trust me when I say here is one outing where it's impossible to get lost. You'll soon see why.

Location/Geography: In south-central Utah, Emery County, in the Wild Horse Butte between Green River and Hanksville. Desert terrain. Lowest point (elevation) 5,098 feet. Area: about 5 square miles.

Spotlight: Spooky looking landscape. Goblin-shaped sandstone hoodoos and pedestals.

Snapshot: Goblin Valley SP lies at the edge of the San Rafael Desert, with no town of any significance anywhere nearby. Its dimensions are about 1 mile across and 2-miles-long. The setting is confined to a valley formed by a seasonal, and usually shallow, wash (Red Canyon). This indeed is a bizarre and captivating landscape of continual change; an outback setting where imaginations are encouraged to run free. The valley is also a virtual playground decorated by an array of hoodoos. Here is also a strange and wondrous locale where water, wind and time have worked in concert to create a fascinating landscape that haunts and delights. In this predominantly arid and desert terrain a variety of goblin-shaped sandstone figures stand ready to delight visitors. To help protect the setting from vandalism, the State of Utah designated Goblin Valley a state park in 1964.

Photo by Ben Cooper
(Continues after the fold.)

Only thing missing on this sign is: "Are you scared to enter?"

Guided Tour Essentials: Combined, there are thousands of hoodoos, balanced rocks, spires and pedestals scattered throughout Goblin Valley. The isolation of the setting brings more than its fair share of solitude. On average, these 3-foot high (.9 m) mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles are caused by an erosion-resistant layer of rock on top of an erosional sandstone formation. As a unique backdrop, some movie producers find this whimsical state of goblins an ideal  outdoor set for filming. For instance, a sci-fi sort of Star Trek comedy movie was partially made here mainly due to the unearthly scenery. Can you guess what the name was? See below for the answer.

Geology: The unusual shapes in Goblin Valley result from a weathering process of Entrada Sandstone (a principal formation in the San Rafael Group). The formations have large orange-brown boulders of rock placed on top of weaker sandy layers, which have thus eroded more quickly (the process of differential erosion). The Entrada sediment was deposited during the Jurassic period of the Mesozoic Era (180 to 140 million years ago). The main environments accounting for this sandstone include tidal mudflats, beaches and sand dunes. The shapely hoodoos consist of debris eroded from former highlands and redeposited on a former tidal flat of alternating layers of sandstone, siltstone and shale.

FYI: A hoodoo, also known as a tent rock, fairy chimney, and earth pyramid, is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos can range from 5-150 feet tall and typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements (i.e., a process called "differential erosion"). They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.
The wonders of weathering and the right kind of sedimentary rocks to fashion eccentric shapes over time
Perspective from the Carmel Canyon Trail

The rock structures here in the park show evidence that the site was near an ancient sea with a regular tidal ebb and flow. Resulting tidal channels directed these currents back to the sea and helped create the coastal sand dunes. Later, joint or fracture patterns created initial zones of weakness in the Entrada Sandstone beds. The unweathered joints then intersected to form sharp edges and corners with greater surface-area-to-volume ratios compared to the rock faces. As a result, the edges weathered more quickly, producing the spherical-shaped goblins.

Human History: As depicted from scores of pictograph and petroglyph panels, evidence of Native American cultures, including the Fremont, Southern Paiute and Ute tribes, is common. Goblin Valley was later discovered by cowboys searching for lost cattle. Apparently, the cattle enjoyed playing hide and seek here. Doubtless, the cowboys just wanted to gather the strays and get back to the main herd. It’s usually quite hot here.

Flora And Fauna: Vegetation is limited to supporting hardy desert species capable of enduring the blowing sand and hot, dry surface conditions. Plants have adapted by reducing the size of their leaves to limit evaporation, while others coat their leaves with a waxy substance, helping reduce water loss. Mormon/Navajo tea (from the genus joint fir), Russian thistle (also known as tumbleweeds when dried and wind-blown across the terrain), Indian ricegrass and various cacti abound. Juniper and piñon pine stands grow at slightly higher elevations. Wildlife in search of water must travel many miles to find such rare standing sources. During the hotter months, most mammals and reptiles are nocturnal. Coyotes, jackrabbits, pronghorn antelope and kit foxes represent the majority of wildlife. The presence of crawling insects, snakes and reptiles are almost a given. Each finds plenty to sustain its existence. It’s a desert, remember?

For those who aren't afraid of the dark. . .seeing the figures at night should be even more telling! Then again, it's much cooler hiking at night in desert terrain.

Hiking: From the parking area, follow any of the obvious routes down into the swarm of waiting goblins. From there, you can get lost on your own since it will be easy to find your way back to where you started. That’s a promise. There is also a bonus hike worth taking, which is located 7 miles from the state park. This is Little Wild Horse Canyon which combines with Bell Canyon (both close to the San Rafael Swell territory). Arguably, this 8-mile loop trail combination is considered one of the most scenic hikes in the region. Guaranteed! Hikers can enjoy one or both canyon hikes, depending on how much time they have, by following the sign near Goblin Valley, pointing the other way to Wild Horse Mesa and Muddy Creek. From here, turn right on the dirt road and follow it for 5.3 miles, then hike and enjoy two of the prettiest and easiest slot canyons in Utah.

Can you view or 'fit' yourself in this picture, do you think?

Say "squeeeeeeeeeeze!" when you enter Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon terrain

Directions: From Green River, travel west on I-70 for 12 miles to Exit 147 (Hanksville), then head south. After about 30 miles turn right at the Temple Mountain/Goblin Valley Junction. Head west for about 5 miles, then left (south) and continue to the park entrance.

Incidentally, do you recognize the backdrop for this movie, Galaxy Quest?

Sigourney Weaver said she would be in the film as long as there were no real Aliens and chest-bursting scenes! So I was told.

Contact Information: Goblin Valley State Park, P. O. Box 637, Green River UT 84525-0637. Phone: 435-275.4584. No Fax. Email: parkcomment@utah.gov

And so, DKos community, we come to the end of another trail, another armchair tour. There will be other scenic places to tour and more supplemental topics to read and think about, so stay tuned for a continuation in this series. See you then and there!

As always, your thoughtful commentaries are welcomed.

Rich
http://www.nmstarg.com/...
http://www.grandcanyon.org/...

FYI: For a list of all diaries posted to date, please see the growing inventory by clicking on my profile or by dialing in this URL: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Also, if commenting on an older diary, please send an email to my profile account. That way I am sure to notice it and respond in a timely manner. Gracias.
Note: Under the "Fair Use" protocol, which is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, photographs, pictures and illustrations, including maps (that are not my own personal property), posted in my diaries provide for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in use of another author's work under a four-factor balancing test.

Ergo, the diary posts are strictly for an educational purpose and are transformative (using an image in a broader story or educational presentation with text). In short, my diaries are promoting an educational presentation intended only to help Daily Kos community members learn more about the many topics my diaries feature. Of course, feel free to use this diary's information, or any other diary, but it would appreciated if you can site the original source. Gracias.

Originally posted to richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 02:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, DK GreenRoots, and Park Avenue.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lovely diary (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 02:20:12 PM PDT

  •  My husband's aunt owned a gas station/restaurant (6+ / 0-)

    just north of Hanksville, and we visited back in the 80s, using one of her RV hookups as a base. Loved the Little Wild Horse Canyon hike as well as Goblin Valley.

    Gorgeous country.

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty - Edward R. Murrow

    by Susan Grigsby on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 02:30:32 PM PDT

    •  there aren't too many gas stations. . . (3+ / 0-)

      in that neck of the woods, Susan from 29, and chances are I stopped at your husband's aunt station and filled up when I was in that sector of the sandstone country. And you're right: it's gorgeous country and I think southeast Utah corners the market on some of the best of what the Colorado Plateau has to offer folks. Thanks for posting your comments.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:24:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  State Park crowds (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UTvoter, RiveroftheWest, foresterbob

    Having started out with the comment that State Parks are often not as crowded as the national park systems, Goblin Valley is almost always packed during vacation season. The park is extremely popular with little children who get to wander around this open and always interesting scenery.

    If you want to visit for photography, reserving a spot at the campground is essential, as the park opens and closes generally before sunrise/sunset - and a gate enforces the closure.

    The park has seen numerous improvements in recent years as its visitorship has increased. When I first started going there around 2000, there wasn't even a paved road leading to the park. Last time I was there a few years ago, there was a brand new visitor center. (There used to be only an entrance booth.)

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 02:47:35 PM PDT

    •  I sent a reply about this. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      in a later comment where you replied about something else. As I said, I wasn't tuned into the fact GV has gotten to be such a bit hit on the tourist destination list, so now I, along with the DKos community, are clued in thanks to you giving notice about this, Phoenix Rising.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:22:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  favorite state park in utah (3+ / 0-)

    planning a lab camp-out there for either spring or fall. our daughter (now 16) would be appalled if she knew i posted this pic from little wild horse canyon.

    chloe's niche

    "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

    by UTvoter on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 02:51:51 PM PDT

    •  I'm thinking she'll love it. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, UTvoter

      because she's not extra famous and the DKos community loves such homey photos, wait and see. GV is also one of my favorite garden spots, at least before I found out it's getting a tad busy with folks dropping by. Hmmm. . .no way to stop that, so no wonder I prefer the esoteric backcountry these years. Anyway, thanks for posting your comments and picture, UTvoter.

      P. S. Another reason why I love late fall to early spring hiking/backpacking the best. . .people are 'damn seldom,' as in seen. So, dress for the occasion and you tend to get places all to yourself. Mostly.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:21:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  p.s., love the time lapse shot at nigth! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

    by UTvoter on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 02:52:22 PM PDT

    •  sort of adds to the eerie. . . (0+ / 0-)

      atmosphere of GV, I'd say. I've hiked there at night a time or two. During the day it was rather tepid, and me, since I love all sorts of critters, even buzz worms and such. . .the best time to meet the creatures of the night is doing just that: hike at night and keep your eyes and ears peeled, as the saying goes.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:18:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Little Wild Horse (4+ / 0-)

    This is easily one of the most accessible slot canyons in the region. It's fun for kids and adults, and it gets pretty narrow in spots, so it's exciting, too...

    Little Wild Horse Chockstone
    One interesting feature in Little Wild Horse Canyon - the chockstone...

    Be sure to practice smart planning at Little Wild Horse Canyon. Park only in the designated parking areas at LWH - parking in the drainage may result in your car being washed away! And do not enter slot canyons when rain is forecast anywhere within the drainage system feeding the canyon.

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 02:53:51 PM PDT

    •  LWH hiking (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, UTvoter, foresterbob

      One more item. Try to plan your hike into Little Wild Horse outside of the heaviest hours and days. Morning on a weekday is probably a bit more sane than afternoon on a weekend. If you wait until afternoon, the late rising crowds will probably have filled up the parking lots, and you'll have an "interesting" time inside the canyon itself.

      Last time I was there on a weekend afternoon I took the last parking spot (and there were some people parked outside of designated parking...).  While in the canyon I wound up chimneying up the canyon wall to let a group pass me underneath. Normally this isn't a problem - not as many people visit the canyon as visit Goblin Valley - but it can get crowded.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:00:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for all your comments. . . (3+ / 0-)

        and obviously this place has grown in popularity since I was there, oh, sometime in the late 90s, I think it was. Used to be only some tourists stopped by, but with your information the DKos community best take heed and get to this state park after the gold rush (i.e., the big bucks tourists drop during the high tourism season). I have done a lot of slots in my time, and mostly the kind of places where one always has a rope and beaners and such just to get up or down safely. LWH isn't such a place, and no wonder it's being run over by droves of people. Well, as long as they're not trashing or tagging the place, I guess it'll just have to be the case for the summer's rush on tourism. Thanks for posting your comments Phoenix Rising. You sound like an inveterate slot canyon and climber sort.

        Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

        by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:14:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, UTvoter, foresterbob

          The Park Avenue folks (myself included) kind of stopped doing these sorts of diaries a while back, and I'm glad someone has taken up the effort to keep touring our nation's wild treasures.

          I'm not really a veteran canyoneer or climber; I had started down that path but was sidetracked by an injury and following antibiotic reaction. This year will be my first back out traveling in 3 years. I'm more of a photographer who likes interesting places. :)

          And yes, GV has changed significantly since the '90s. New big parking lot, newly revamped larger paved campground with RV amenities, paved road (corresponding I think with the Galaxy Quest filming), visitor center. Even Little Wild Horse Canyon has been updated with dual (dirt) parking areas and some signage.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:26:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  chock stones. . . (3+ / 0-)

      when you hike into the Paria or Buckskin or Coyote gulches, or Johnson Canyon, on the Skutempah Terrace, that's when chock stones and passage over or under them gets really hairy. At least here in LWH it's not a problem. Glad you posted this photo, though, because I forgot about such phenomena in this lovely and easy hiking place.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:17:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This one's fun (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, foresterbob

        because you can just crawl under it. Little Wild Horse is pretty much a "beginner's" slot canyon. It has no difficult passages, but it's still reasonably long and interesting.

        Then, once you get your interest piqued by LWH, you can go get addicted to real canyoneering adventures!

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:21:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  kids love this place (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, UTvoter, foresterbob

    because they let you climb on all of the hoodoos at Goblin valley.  I have to admit I enjoyed that as well.  It is like a giant playground.  I was a bit concerned though about damage that may be happening.  The pillars supporting the captained are very soft and claylike.

    While we were there a couple of teens got themselves ledged out in the area in the back of your first photo.  The park rangers had to go up with climbing gear to get them down.  Their mother was tearing Dad a new one for letting their girls go up by themselves.

    Also, I believe the place that the Aaron guy from the 127 hours movie got stuck is just to the east of Goblin Valley.  Well, as I mentioned before  "just east" is a relative term.

    I am enjoying these diaries.

    •  Yep... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, foresterbob

      The guy who got stuck was in a remote area within the Horseshoe Canyon Unit of Canyonlands National Park. If I'm remembering correctly, the access to that area leaves the highway within a mile or two of the turnoff to Goblin Valley on a pretty much unmarked dirt road - which is interesting because I believe they give ranger-led tours of the main section of Horseshoe Canyon.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:10:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that'd be the Maze sector. . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Rising, RiveroftheWest

        and I think I've 'done' all those canyons at one time or another. What happened to. . .gosh, I can't remember the lad's name just now. . .was a total fluke. I also know I could never do what he did. Don't ever want to be put in that position, either. (And I still haven't seen the movie, even though I admire the actor who played that singular role.) Horseshoe Canyon region, since you mentioned it, I trust you've been there. The Great Gallery (of glyphs) is the reason most of us hiked in that sector. Simply unbelievable rock art of the highest magnitude. Also, if memory serves access is via SR 24, an okay graded road surface, but you can also get there via Green River (Utah) on another dirt road, which is a longer route. That's the way I got there years ago. Had a Toyota Landcruiser then and all I worried about were flats. P. S. Do not travel either road when the pavement is wet. Too darn dangerous and slippery.

        Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

        by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:35:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maze is further south, both off of UT-24 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, foresterbob

          This guy got stuck in Blue John Canyon, which is technically in HC unit.

          Haven't yet visited either area - they're "on my list". Unfortunately, I don't have a "real" 4WD vehicle, so they're a bit further down on the list. Subarus go many places - including to the HC ranger station and the Hans Flat station - but only when the roads aren't washed out.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:55:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  thanks for your posting. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      actually, the 127-hour guy got stuck in a bad way in one of Ed Abbey's secret favorite hideways, his so-called "A-B-C" canyons, near Moab. Pretty sure that's right, because I was in two of 'em (and, no, I won't spoil Abbey's secret). Anyway, you're right: GV is just a real fun place for kids and adults who want to be kids. Not sure where those kids got ledged out, but if you say it must be the case. Now I hear the state park rangers, whatever their LE is called, restrict climbing on the goblins, and only in places. Not sure about that. Someone in the community will likely set me straight on the matter. Usually happens that way and I'm counting on it. Anyway, thanks for posting your comments, Short Bus. A wife tearing a dad a new one. I had to laugh about that one. Thanks.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:11:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What the signs say... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        The signs around the valley say you shouldn't climb on the goblins, but I don't believe I've ever seen a park ranger in the valley, nor have I heard of anyone being warned off of the goblins. Some of them aren't terribly stable, and they're all a bit crumbly.

        For conservation purposes, it's probably best to stay off of them and stick to the well-trodden (and occasionally re-flattened by rain) valley floor.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:16:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, this looks like fun! What a great place. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UTvoter, foresterbob
    •  get your hiking boots. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      and get your game on, RiveroftheWest. GV is fun and if you slip through Little Wild Horse Canyon, it's even. . .as the kids say...funer! Are you ready?

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:07:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not these old bones! But thanks (0+ / 0-)

        for the lovely tour!

        •  well, then by proxy. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          because it appears I have a lot of folks who have hung up their hiking spurs a long time ago, RiveroftheWest, though not the passion for the outdoors. That's what you need to keep your hand in the game of life. . .passion and a way to keep your dreams alive. You are likely more alive than most people you even know. Something that I can tell from afar. So there!

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:42:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks! Your tours bring back good memories. n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  good memories. . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              and what more can any of us ask for in our aging process other than the fact we either have cultivated good memories or the. opposite? In this case, bad. Since these diaries, for you at least, trigger good memories then here's to those happy tidings, RiveroftheWest. See you for tomorrow's tour of the next in this 3-pack series, Kodachrome basin. I'm thinking it'll post sometime around 9 a.m. MSDT.

              Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

              by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:30:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  What unusual formations... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, foresterbob

    ... of these "eccentric shapes" as you call them.

    Nature sure is a wonderful sculptor, no?

    Reuse and commonality are the keys to a robust and profitable space program.

    by The NM STAR Group on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:27:02 PM PDT

    •  yes SHE is. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, foresterbob

      and the marvels of differential erosion, which partially describes the weathering effect here, tends to created the most bizarre shapes on the planet. Why, look at me and what weathering has done for my looks!

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:29:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stuff to do in the area (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, foresterbob

    As mentioned above, the Horseshoe Canyon Unit of Canyonlands National Park is accessible via BLM dirt roads leaving on UT-24 within a mile or two of the turnoff to Goblin Valley. During the spring and fall, the NPS offers guided tours there to one of the most magnificent Native rock art panels in the country - the Great Gallery.

    And as rhichholtzin notes, the area is directly up against the San Rafael Swell - the rocky uplift visible to the north of the valley, stretching north and east past I-70. LWH and Bell canyons both cut through the Swell, and there are several other slot canyons in the area just north of those two. A climb to Temple Mountain starts from a turn-off along the Goblin Valley road (as does an ORV access point - or at least it did as of a few years ago...). Most of the rest of the best of the Swell is accessible from I-70, which cuts through the reef and onto the plateau above. Features include several rock art sites, canyons, and rock features.

    Green River is about 45 minutes north and east; from there, Nine Mile Canyon offers still more rock art. Beyond Hanksville, Moab is another 45 minutes. From there you can visit Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park's Island In The Sky Unit, and Dead Horse Point State Park.

    Past Hanksville you can head down to Lake Powell / Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and then on to Natural Bridges National Monument. Or you could continue heading west into Capitol Reef National Park

    (links to older DK diaries)

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:49:27 PM PDT

    •  just for the record. . . (4+ / 0-)

      Phoenix Rising. . .I am going to a bit put-off with you if you don't write some diaries given what you obviously know pretty darn well. And thanks for adding such rich information to this diary. Temple Mountain is one of my favorites, and I am not sure if you read the recent diary I posted on the Swell, but if not here's the URL: http://www.dailykos.com/...

      On my growing and lengthy list of diaries are also Arches and Capital Reef. . .another two of my very favorites. You apparently have done some hoofing in these sectors, as well. The same with Natural Bridges, which I will be posting a diary on this monument within a month, I think. In all this geography you just described is some of the best hiking and scenery in Utah.

      Now I'll have to go read your diaries and the embedded info you left me and the others to enjoy perusing. Thanks for posting your additional comments.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:56:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've missed most of your diaries (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, foresterbob

        I've been seeing them in the Community Spotlights, but have been too busy to read them. :(

        The two diaries I linked to above are older Park Avenue diaries I wrote about Arches and Capitol Reef. I was hoping to get to some state park diaries including GV, but ran out of time in my day and stopped writing - hence the Thank You for doing so much writing!

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:59:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we sure make a team. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          each in our style but having a mutual admiration of terrain that borders on. . .what would you call it. . .a love affair? I really don't think there's a more scenic topography in this great planet other than what the Colorado Plateau lays out on display. Then again, I have my bias' like everyone else.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:40:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a bias toward Nature (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            My aunt, on showing her my honeymoon pictures from Hawaii: "You're the only person I know who can make Hawaii look uninhabited."

            I don't care if it's oceans, forests, plains, or deserts - it's all beautiful.

            The Colorado Plateau is extra special in my opinion - there's just nothing else quite like it that I've seen.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

            by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:54:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps I might write one soon... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        I'm thinking of heading out that way in a few weeks. I might decide to head to Natural Bridges and round out my photo collection at least enough to write something up on it - it's a pretty small area all things considered.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:03:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Natural Bridges. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          a pretty small area, all things considering, yes, maybe; but SE Utah is gargantuan and I am thankful I got to explore that turf for nearly 40 years. Funny, though, I never ran into Kelsey, except once. . .he was staying at the Desert Rose, if memory serves, where I was hold up with a group of feisty Elderhostlers on a tour. They were sure fun and I hope I wasn't too hard on 'em. HA! Anyway, bon voyage on your journey and photo shoot. Looking forward to reading your memoirs of same. A diary, that is.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:39:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I was there last summer for the first time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    on my way to Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands. I now wish I'd of stayed the night in the campground (they even have hot showers!) so I could hike LWHC but, at the time, I was feeling a bit rushed and I knew nothing about it. I drove the road to the trailhead but didn't enter. It would seem that I made a bit of a blunder that will have to be corrected on my next visit out that way.

    Thanks, Rich.

    I don't get mad. I get stabby!" - Fat Tony D'Amico

    by sizzzzlerz on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:57:13 PM PDT

    •  let's continue. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      this more interesting dialogue you have begun, sizzzzlerz (did I get all the right number of z's in your moniker, I hope?). . .that is, when you get back on the trail to  Horseshoe? I really do think it's worth the time and effort to get to the final destination, give what you originally set out to do. But with this proviso in mind: Please, post a diary and kindly reference the reason, this diary, for doing so. I am indebted for your doing so. In the meantime, I thank you very much for posting the comment that you did. Now, if only, the hiker who got himself into this mess in the first place, and minus part of his arm, would amplify the matter, as a post comment. . .

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 05:25:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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