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 > And So It Continues - Beef Basin

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seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 09/27/09 01:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Exploring the area around Dark Canyon could easily become an obsession - there are roads west that lead to even more remote places and roads north that entice the off-roader in me. On this trip I'm nibbling around the edges, and so far I really like what I see.

After a trip out North Long Point, it's time to drop in elevation (not by too much though) and explore another section of this beautiful country - Beef Basin.

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Known primarily for the extensive but scattered ruins of ancestral Puebloan people and rugged scenery, this would be a great place to stay for a week or more, checking out spur roads that may or may not lead to prehistoric sites. But first you have to get there.

As the road leaves the Dark Canyon heights, expansive views open up to the north.

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At first the trail is reasonably well graded, but again the lower elevation soils are composed of mudstone and silt - a mucky, greasy nightmare when wet. After a short time the road passes from Forest Service land to BLM.

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Gradually the rocky nature of the topography begins to manifest itself in the road surface, and progress slows considerably. That's o.k. because the scenery is worth taking time to appreciate.

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After several miles of alternately rocky and sandy two track, you enter Beef Basin - officially.

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After the heavily forested plateau, the country here is much more open, and broad grassy plains are dotted with striking orange and white outcroppings of sandstone.

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As I mentioned before, from here there are many other options to explore. Sadly my time is tight, and I'm only able to spend a day getting a feel for future trips.

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The road to Ruin Park is doable, as is the loop around Stanley Spring, but further advances beyond Bobby's Hole to Canyonlands will only be possible with a smaller, lighter 4x4.

Even so there is still enough beauty contained in many (I'd say unusual, but here that is normal) rock formations that invite scrambling, perching, and deep contemplation.

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Once again I establish camp, and settle in for the soft golden light of another perfect evening.

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The next morning it's time to push on. Dark clouds that weren't present at daybreak start to fill the skies, and the threat of impending rain (and slick, muddy roads) underscores the need to go.

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Mother Nature of course calls the shots out here, and she won't let me out quickly - it still takes nearly an hour to make the 12 miles out to the plateau.

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Eventually I make the junction, and turn north on San Juan CR 107. The road stays fairly high as it contours around the edge of the plateau.

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Once again outstanding views of canyons cut into the rock appear along the way.

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Bridger Jack Mesa looms in the distance. The road contours around the base of this prominent landmark for much of the way out.

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The backside of the Abajo (Blue) Mountains are seen to the southeast.

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On the east flank of Bridger Jack, canyon walls join in on the other side, closing the valley in and creating a passageway of imposing stone.

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The thunderstorms disappear as quickly as they formed - a frequent occurrence in the desert.

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The road emerges at the blacktop of Utah Highway 211. Turn left here, and visit the Needles Overlook (or with a suitable 4x4, tackle Elephant Hill). Right, or south leads to Newspaper Rock, Monticello, and Blanding.

Me, I've got one more place to go....


The Road Goes Ever On



2008 F250 SD 4x4 Supercab, Detroit TrueTrac, Hellwig LP 35, 2006 Outfitter Caribou 6.5


Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Joined: 03/14/2007

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Posted: 09/27/09 01:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! Thank you for the time you spend on posting your travels here. I like the way you show both scenery and road surface, so I can more realistically evaluate the possibility of going there.


2006 Tiger CX 4x4, 8.1 L gas V-8, Allison 6-speed


~DJ~

Boise, Idaho

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Posted: 09/27/09 03:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW!!! I really really gotta go there!!! Thanks for sharing!!! [emoticon]


'17 Class C 22' Conquest on Ford E 450 with V 10. 4000 Onan, Quad 6 volt AGMs, 515 watts solar.
'12 Northstar Liberty on a '16 Super Duty 6.2. Twin 6 volt AGMs with 100 (so far) watts solar.

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 09/27/09 03:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Seldom,

I really enjoy seeing the sights you SW people get to see. We have a little stuff like that in E WA. around the Columbia River, Dry Falls area and a few others areas, but no canyons in that scale. We do have great forests and coasts though.

Thanks for taking the time to put these reports together. I know the time it takes and it's appreciated.


Camper Jeff and Kelli's Blog!
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A CLOSED MOUTH GATHERS NO FEET!


seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 09/27/09 03:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camper_Jeff_+_Kelli wrote:

Seldom,

Thanks for taking the time to put these reports together. I know the time it takes and it's appreciated.


I appreciate your appreciation [emoticon] Obviously I enjoy doing it, otherwise I'd sit back and let others have all the fun. I am truly fortunate that I live here in the Four Corners region, and that I have the ability and desire to get out and explore.

As I've mentioned before, nothing would make me happier than leaving the treadmill of work and paying the bills to travel fulltime, but as it is I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to share the rugged beauty of the Colorado Plateau with others who feel the same way.

Eric

travelinglane

NH

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Joined: 06/28/2008

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Posted: 09/27/09 04:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eric - Your pictures are so beautiful! Your part of the country is very remarkable. Please keep traveling and posting so we can all enjoy it as well. Thanks [emoticon]

cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Joined: 01/24/2005

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Posted: 09/27/09 04:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW -- this series could be THE best trip report ever, or at least right up there with the best.
Many thanks.


Cal


TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Joined: 04/08/2006

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Posted: 09/27/09 04:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What we'd give to follow along in your dust. I doubt a hard side, double slide could go where you go. Thanks for the time taken to share this part of our country with us.

Joe


2011 Chalet Double Slide on a 2013 F-450 Diesel DRW
On the Road Again from Rural Maine
Our travel blog with photos


weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 09/28/09 04:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome landscapes ! Thanks very much to share it with us.


FORD F250 LARIAT 4X4 DIESEL 2008
Lance 815 2007
France, Normandy

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Joined: 07/20/2004

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Posted: 09/28/09 05:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Once again I find my self amazed at the beauty of the country, even more so since I realize that pictures, no matter how stunning, can't do the real thing justice.

Many thanks for your postings.


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
2004 Lance 815 (prev: 2004 FW 35'; 1994 TT 30'; Tents)


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