Camping & Taking Photos in E. California and the SouthWest

Archive for May, 2012

Lake Powell

I spent Mother’s Day morning taking a boat tour of upper Antelope Canyon and Navajo Canyon in Lake Powell. We passed mesas, buttes, monoliths, islands and side canyons.

Antelope Canyon got so narrow, we could barely turn around. Navajo Canyon is very colorful and it’s easy to imagine faces in the patterns on the canyon walls.


Rock Art

Of course, this area has rock art! Our new friend Scott told us how to find some petroglyphs…just down the road from our campground, then up a small hill and across a small valley. The trail took us up the hill; then we had to pick our way through the brush. I kept my eyes peeled for snakes, but fortunately didn’t see any! The petroglyphs were very different from what we’ve seen; one in particular…it looked like an ancient version of Stevie Wonder!

Chinle Formation

Another spot down the road from camp offered some very interesting colors and patterns in the “Chinle Formations” there. As the light changed, the colors got more and more intense.


We are still trying to ID this amazing plant – we saw lots of them growing beside the rock formations!

Paw Hole

Another neat place near Stateline is Paw Hole. It requires a shorter drive than White Pocket, but the road is also quite rough and sandy. The rock formations, mainly hoodoos and buttes, are very red. We stayed till sunset; then returned to camp. We found loads of wildflowers at both White Pocket and Paw Hole. It’s definitely spring in Northern Arizona!

White Pocket

We took a long, very sandy 4 wheel-drive road to White Pocket one afternoon and spent the night. What an amazing place, well worth the long drive. The area is filled with “brain rocks”, alcoves, hoodoos, and other strange rock formations. The swirls of color reminded me of finger painting. There is such a variety. White Pocket is definitely one of our favorite places.

Vermilion Cliffs, Grand Staircase, Glenn Canyon

The area around Stateline Campground is amazing; it encompasses the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Glenn Canyon & Lake Powell, and the Grand Staircase.

The Vermilion Cliffs, a remote 294,000 acre national monument, feature towering cliffs, deep canyons and spectacular sandstone formations including the Paria Plateau, Coyote Buttes and Paria Canyon. Elevations range from 3100 to 6500 feet. Paria Canyon is known for its towering walls streaked with desert varnish, huge rock amphitheaters, sandstone arches and hanging gardens. Some of the best slot canyon hiking is found here.

The Grand Staircase features 7 major geologic formations in layer-cake fashion in the chocolate, vermilion, white, gray and pink cliffs. The steps of the staircase span 5 different life zones – from the desert to the forest, exhibiting great geological and biological diversity.

Lake Powell was created when the 710 foot high Glen Canyon dam was completed in 1966.The dam holds back 9,000,000,000,000 gallons of water! The 196 mile canyon formed by the dam includes 96 major side canyons. There are 5 marinas on Lake Powell and hundreds boats – lots of them are for rent; most of the others are jointly owned because each person is limited to spending 30 days a year on the lake.

Our friends Lorraine & Jim

Stateline Campground & Buckskin Gulch

After spending a night in Kanab, we headed back to Stateline Campground and got set up. We reconnected with the people we met (Reid, Tina, Patricia & Scott) and shared our campsite with Jim and Lorraine; we enjoyed getting to know them. They have hiked a lot of places and gave us some great recommendations.

The campground is very nice – great views, covered picnic tables and lots of hiking close by. The Arizona Trail ends at the campground, so it was very interesting meeting the people coming off the trail. Doug would generally welcome them with a beer and ask them to join us for a rest.

Our first guests, Tony and Emily, are going to work in Rocky National Park this summer. Emily has been involved with the Park Service since she was 14! She volunteered for years; then worked seasonally at Yosemite for the last 3-4 years, which is where they met. She’ll be working as a backcountry ranger; Tony will be working on backcountry trails and signs.

A few days later, Jean came off the trail. She visited with us until her significant-other, Sparky, came to pick her up. She has also done a lot of hiking – usually on her own!

After Sparky came, Jean put on her celebratory outfit:

The closest hike starts a mile down the road at Wire Pass, which runs into Buckskin Gulch. Buckskin is the longest slot canyon in the country! It’s also very deep! That’s where we headed for our first outing.

Lorraine going through Wire Pass

Our new friend, Jim

Remnants of a flash flood

When we came out of the canyon, we found these petroglyphs:

Muley Twist

While we were camping in Boulder, we drove through the Circle Cliffs, down the Burr Trail to Muley Twist Canyon. We entered the canyon through the wash and explored as far as time allowed. We met some other hikers and talked with them for quite a while before we turned around. They hadn’t secured a campsite, so we offered to share ours. Jim and Lorraine are hiking partners from Boulder CO, in the area for a few days. Turns out they were planning to go to Kanab the next day, as were we!

Zoe and her Dad

We drove to Stateline Campground (on the border of Utah and Arizona) one day to check out the area. On our way, we stopped in Cannonville for a picnic and saw this interesting tandem recumbent bike:

and one of it’s riders…

We stayed around until we met Zoe and her Dad. They are inspiring -they are riding their tandem bike from California to New York! Zoe is only 9 years old – what a trooper!

When we got to Stateline Campground we saw an interesting trailer and started talking with the owners. Turns out, they are from Bellingham. A few minutes later, their camping buddies came over – Doug recognized them – friends of a former girlfriend! After seeing the campground and talking with them, we decided to return in the next few days. What a spot!

Shooting Star

While we were in Escalante, we drove by a new place – the Shooting Star Drive In! What an interesting place – it is an RV park (particularly catering to Air Streams). They have 9 Air Streams available for nightly rentals – each one is decorated as if it is a movie star’s trailer for a particular movie (for example, one was decorated as Marilyn Monroe’s trailer for the film “Some Like It Hot”).

Each night they show an old movie on a large outdoor screen – you pick which convertible you’d like to sit in, open the roof and sit back and watch the movie. They even have the old-time drive-in speakers! They sell candy, popcorn, pop and other snacks. What a concept!

They have a few spots for tent camping, so we’re planning to return and stay for a night or two.