Tuesday, April 13, 2021

2021.04.13 Lees Ferry and Marble Canyon, Arizona

    Lees Ferry is the only place within Glen Canyon where you can drive to the Colorado River, right up to the first rapid of the Grand Canyon. Adventurous river runners launch their boats here for multi-day trips down the canyon. We originally stayed at the Lees Ferry Campground but didn't like it much, it was just too crowded. So, the next day we had to find another place, this time a nice boondocking spot away from people.
    We've been here, in Marble Canyon, many times before and always ignored the Cathedral Wash Trail, since it looked boring from the trailhead by the road. This time, we decided to hike it, and it sure wasn't a mistake, it turned out to be a pretty amazing endeavor.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

2021.04.06 Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah

    We drove by this state park several times before, but never decided to check it out. This time, our main interest was small town Kanab, where we wanted to apply for a permit to hike the very famous trail "The Wave". One can apply on line about four months ahead or you can come in person and try the lottery drawing for the next day. After three days of trying our lottery luck, we realized the chance was very slim. Only 4 permits were issued daily for about 120 people who would show up every morning. In the end, we didn't get the permit and that is totally fine. We went to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes instead and spent a beautiful afternoon here. And the bonus was we found a very nice and quiet campground outside of the park for $2.50/night. What a great deal.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

2021.04.03 Sunset Crater and Wupatki Pueblo, AZ

    Another interesting park we haven't seen before. And we were pretty certain there was nothing left to see for us in Arizona.
    The Sunset Crater Volcano Monument is about 20 miles north of Flagstaff, mostly ignored by the crowds rushing to The Great Canyon. Geologic features like cinders, lava rock, and lava flow compose this interesting landscape. What a great contrast to the red rocks that we're accustomed to around here. We hiked a few of the shorter hikes as it was very hot day but it was still pretty rewarding.
    There is also another national park in the same area, The Wupatki National Monument, connected by a scenic road. There are more than 800 ruins spread around in the desert within this monument, but five of the largest are the only sites open to visitors. All pueblos were built by Anasazi and Sinagua Indians during 12th and 13th centuries, who had to leave the area soon after because of the volcanic eruptions. This unfortunate event left some pueblos in a very good shape, allowing us to discover the way these peoples lived.
    These are two more national monuments we never heard of, but definitely well worth to see.