Melted snow = desert time!
The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, brings you a quick post from Durango, CO.’s Jim Philpott. When we last checked in with Jim he was STILL skiing into May. He has finally put the boards away and is on to more “season appropriate” activities – hello desert!
So the snow is all gone down here in Southwest Colorado which means trips to the desert. My fiancée Erin and I just got back from an amazing little weekend backpack trip out in Utah. We left Durango late Friday night and drove out to Cedar Mesa which is out past Blanding towards Lake Powell. Saturday morning we checked in at the Kane Gulch Ranger station to get our permit and headed out to hike the Fish and Owl Creek loop. The loop is about 17-18 miles and can be done in two days but should be done in three, due to the amount of great side hikes and scrambles along the trail. We ended up doing the whole thing in two which wasn’t bad at all.
We chose to walk down Fish Creek and up Owl Creek but the hike can be done either way. There was a good amount of water in both Fish and Owl Creek so we decided to pump water rather than haul a bunch. All in all an amazing walk with a ton of Indian ruins and with a little research beforehand we were able to check out a number of different sites.
TRAIL NOTES: Fish Creek Canyon and Owl Creek Canyon offer excellent hiking through highly scenic canyons rich in Anasazi ruins. Although many of the ruins are in better condition than even those in nearby Grand Gulch, quite a few of them lie inaccessible in high alcoves, the steps to them long gone. Still, there’s plenty to see up close and personal. The first ruin stands not far from the trailhead, and several ruins can be seen up the south fork of Owl Creek. You should see several more ruins along the six or so miles of the main canyon before its meeting with Fish Creek, and you’ll pass huge and picturesque Nevills Arch. At the confluence with Fish Creek, turn north–but if you have time, you’ll find more ruins lower in Fish Creek Canyon and up its tributary McCloyd Canyon. This loop goes up Fish Creek about eight miles, through a lovely canyon with far less ruins than the section of Owl Creek you just hiked, and out of Fish Creek via a steep trail up the south wall. Then you’ll cross the mesa for about 1.5 miles back to the starting point. No trail exists, so carry an accurate map and compass. Fish Creek Canyon and its south fork extends much further north if you have the time and inclination to explore.
*trail info courtesy of Utah.com
For more information about Jim click here.