Beef Basin, Utah
October 7 - 9, 2013
By Mal Roode
Ellen Miller, Nelson Miller, Mignon Slentz, Glenn Shaw, myself and our trip leader, Christian Duelk met at Monticello at 9:00 a.m. Monday. We headed into Beef Basin and found a nice base camp. After everyone set up their camps we headed into Middle Park and found about 5 anasazi granaries up in the walls of the canyon. One was so high up the canyon wall that only Glenn and Ellen made the climb. I explored the edge of a dry waterfall and found the last granary. It was in such good shape that the door to cover the opening was laying right in front!
On Tuesday we made the whole loop of the area. We saw Tower Ruin, Farmhouse Ruin and Village Ruin. The Village Ruin and the Tower Ruin required a few hours of hiking as they have closed all the two tracks leading to these. The wind was blowing pretty good and it made it cold at times, especially without a jacket. We continued on and went into Ruin Canyon. Here the brush was taller than our trucks and was not wide enough. We found two ruins in here. One was so high we could not possibly get to it, the other was up a steep hill that would have been possible earlier in the day, but at 4:00 p.m. it was a no-go.
Wednesday we broke camp and headed out the way we came in. BUT Chris took a left turn on a trail that had lots of overlooks to Wedding Ring Arch and Big Pocket, Utah down below. We stopped at about 10 or so beautiful overlooks, many of them very different, as we crawled out over ledges and boulders in first gear low, and then back on the narrow finger that juts out about 2 miles into Canyonlands NP (but not actually in the NP).
There was a storm coming and as the day came to an end we stopped at Looking Glass Rock. We climbed almost all the way to the top of it. Glenn and I hiked to the backside where we found a Mojave Green Rattlesnake on the slickrock. He was cold and could hardly rattle his tail. It got dark, windy and cold and with the storm coming all we could find as a camping spot was the staging area for Gemini Bridges trail. It was noisy and right next to the main highway and the railroad tracks. The rain and gusty winds started at 1:30 a.m., and it was raining hard again at 7:00 a.m. when we headed for Denny’s to get out of the weather and parted ways after breakfast. It was a dark, rainy day in Moab with muddy trails. Despite the bad weather at the end, everyone had a great time.