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-   -   San Rafael Swell 9/19/10 - Day Two (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=14144)

MountainGoat 09-28-2010 10:05 PM

San Rafael Swell 9/19/10 - Day Two
 
Picking up where I left off on my first post of Day One. Sunday morning we decided to explore further down Mexican Mountain Road to the southeast from our campsite. We were curious about what sort of quantity and quality of campsites there might be down along the river.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...srs/track5.jpg


Turns out there are easily 10 to 15 great campsites as you go down the main road and explore the short sideroads. Many of the campsites are right on the river. There seem to be more campsites than there are people to use them, because the farther you go the more overgrown they become. Here are a few of them:

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191045.jpg

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There a many little draws that run southward to the river and most of them are legal routes.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191053.jpg

You find spots like this at the end where the draws meet the river.
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Finally the road veers away from the river and the landscape opens up on Indian Bench.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191054.jpg

MountainGoat 09-28-2010 10:06 PM

Continuing down the road, near the end, we came to a trailhead for Black Box, which is a crazy deep canyon.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...srs/track6.jpg

There is a very ominous warning sign at the trailhead!
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191061.jpg

After reading the sign we decided that we had to take a look at it. So we hiked about 1 1/2 miles to the canyon's edge.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191055.jpg

It's really hard to get the sheer depth of the thing in pictures, but looking into it practically gave you vertigo.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191056.jpg

Just ask my brother! He felt better on all fours.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191057.jpg

On these last few you can see the San Rafael River far below.
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http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191060.jpg

MountainGoat 09-28-2010 10:07 PM

Next we headed back up the road the way we had come, past our first campsite and north through Buckhorn Wash. This map shows the route and also our second campsite.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...srs/track7.jpg

There are wild color variations in the rock around here.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191062.jpg

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191063.jpg

Looking up a sheer wall in Buckhorn Wash.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191064.jpg

Here is the pictograph panel in the wash. It's pretty cool.
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The canyon is beautiful here.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191068.jpg

Once we exited the top of Buckhorn Wash we headed up to The Wedge Overlook road, which turns south. The Wedge is mainly grassland with pinion pines and juniper. At the top of it you overlook the Little Grand Canyon.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191069.jpg

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191070.jpg

It is a vast canyon and, once again, the San Rafael River runs through the bottom of it.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191071.jpg

Then we headed back down onto The Wedge and scoped out the campsites. There are 10 campsites situated around this area, and there is no camping other than in the designated sites. We were going to camp by the canyon, but the wind was howling up out of it pretty heavily. We chose a spot away from the canyon amidst the trees.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191072.jpg

This is the view west from camp where the forest fires south of Salt Lake City were making interesting colors in the sky.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...s/09191073.jpg

Right after I took that picture my camera batteries died. Monday morning we headed home via the Green River Cutoff, which was another 30 or so miles of dirt to get back to a highway.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uplo...srs/track8.jpg

I can't wait to get back out and explore another chunk of the San Rafael Swell. It's incredible!

Jacket 09-28-2010 11:50 PM

I like those campsites by the river. They look like they could easily accommodate a group of Toyotas looking for some pre-CM fun.:camping:

MDH33 10-01-2010 12:06 PM

Awesome Dan. I'm living vicariously through you until I can wheel/camp/explore again. :thumb:

bh4rnnr 10-02-2010 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacket (Post 163469)
I like those campsites by the river. They look like they could easily accommodate a group of Toyotas looking for some pre-CM fun.:camping:

I'm still gonna push Dark Canyon;).

Awesome photos Dan! Glad you guys had a fun time out there. It's always a "Swell" time in the Swell:cool:


:beer::beer:


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