RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Book Cliffs and San Rafael Swell

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Book Cliffs and San Rafael Swell

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
Sponsored By:
Clattertruck

Centennial Colorado

Senior Member

Joined: 06/19/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 09/22/11 08:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Earlier this summer, we ventured into the Book Cliffs and the San Rafael Swell for a look. The Book Cliffs are on the north side of I-70 and run from western Colorado into eastern Utah. They are composed of sedimentary materials stretching about 200 miles west from Palisade, CO to near Helper Utah. Coal seems to have been the thing that brought the most interest.

A group of old friends gathered in Green River, UT to see these areas.
We have four-wheeled together for many years. They are now my "keepers" because I dare not go into anything remote because I am no longer able to walk out 15 miles for help.
I drove our new Toyota 4Runner trail model to see how it would do on moderate trails. I had sold my Jeep Rubicon because my wife and I could no longer get on board without difficulty. We stayed in a motel which we find detestable. I don't have a trailer for the Toyota, and it cannot be towed "four down".

We started at Thompson Springs (I-70 exit 185) and headed north for the Sego Ghost Town Trail in the Book Cliffs.

[image]
The initial entry to the canyon.

[image]
At about 4 miles there is a parking area where you can view rock art

[image]
I converted the image to B&W, which makes the art easier to read

In post processing of other pictures I though it would be interesting to parallel with B&W to get a different perspective. Landscapes in black and white can bring forms and shapes into focus that might not be as expressive in color. However, some things tell better story in color.


[image]
We vectored to the northwest up Thomson Canyon and found an old cow camp
The line shack was not in bad shape.

[image]
The old oven was ready to use. If only these relics could tell their story.

[image]
Our rigs, Broncos, Jeeps, and the Toyota

[image]
We left Thomson and proceeded up Sego to the ghost town. This was the general store.

[image]
Black&White with a dark sky pops the texture of the stone and emphasizes the feeling of history.

[image]
Nearby was the carcass of a forlorn old car.

[image]
Following the Sego road north. The canyon narrows.

[image]
On top near the end of the public road where you are not to enter Indian land.
The view is to the south looking at the Monte La Sal Mountains near Moab.
Haze is always a problem for the long views You can add contrast to that part of the photo, but a really good fix is near impossible.

[image]
Old time B&W has better luck.

[image]
Coming back we picked up the Floy Wash road, very dusty but some good views,

[image]
Again, the La Sals across a flat plain.

[image]

[image]
The paint brush was electric.

Leaving the Book Cliffs trails we went back to Green River to find Crystal Geyser about 4.5 miles south of town on the banks of the river. It is a rare example of a cold water carbon dioxide driven geyser. It was formed by an exploration well drilled in 1935. it must have been leaking before the well because it was mentioned by the Powell Expedition in 1869.

[image]
It can erupt to a height of 40 meters. Here it having a bubble event.

[image]
The surrounding area is covered by a thick layer of orange travertine.

[image]
Waiting for eruption that didn't happen.

[image]
Late afternoon, my wife, Margot, decided to have a beer. She has tolerated me for 57 years of marriage and a lot of travel.

[image]
I already had one going.

The next day we change our plan a bit. One of the women on the trip had never been in the desert so we thought she should see some of the special views near Moab. We headed for Dead horse Point, Grand view point, and the Shafer Trail.

[image]
Dead Horse State Park view. This was shot earlier in the year. The light was bad on this trip.

[image]
Grand View overlook

[image]
The Shafer Trail beginning

[image]

[image]
Our group photo before starting on the Shafer Trail. Geezer Ron is on the left (as if you couldn't tell).


The San Rafael Swell is located in south central Utah. Two thousand square miles of narrow, circuitous canyons, scenic cliffs and towering buttes make up a great area for desert lovers.

"I-70 divides the "Swell" in half a Northern and a Southern section. There are good graveled roads that lead to Reds Canyon, Temple Mountain and Hidden Splendor in the South. In the North graded roads lead to Buckhorn Wash, Little Grand Canyon and Mexican Mountain. For the more adventurous sight seers there are much more difficult roads which take you even more stunning locations." Map and quotations from http://www.sanrafaelswell.org/indexnew.html

[image]

We went into the Swell not far from Goblin Valley where we stopped for a few minutes.
[image]

[image]
Erosion of the Entrada formation resulted in these "hoodoo" rocks.

We took a west side route through the Reef to Temple Mountain.
[image]
Not so tight that a 4x4 with a pop-up TC would have any trouble.

[image]
After some "cut and try" we got close to Temple.

[image]

[image]
On the way to Rod's Valley

[image]
Some of the group and to leave for home so they took a quick way out to I-70. There we three of us left to get into Eagle Canyon.

[image]
We knew there was a big arch in Eagle Canyon so we started down the road. It soon turned into a some rock hoping down a little traveled canyon bottom. I scratched up the new Toyota so it is now a user.

[image]
The arch was well worth it.

[image]
After Eagle Canyon Arch we continued down stream and found were we about 300 feet under the bridges on I-70 How do we get out of here? We finally found a way out to the highway on the north side. We were able to come to one of those "do not use " maintenance crossings to the south side. We used it and headed east to Green River.

The San Rafael Swell has great opportunities for the intrepid TCers like Seldomseen, Whazoo, and the others who venture into the backcountry. It is not nearly as crowded as the Moab area.
I'll post later some views of the Swell on the north side of I-70
Ron


Clattertruck
2008 SD F450 Pickup PSD 6.4L CC 4X4 DRW, Lariat Auto trans 4.30 LS, 2013 Lance TT 1885, Toyota 2014 Tundra Crew Max 5.7.


bigfootgrey

Connecticut

Senior Member

Joined: 04/15/2011

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/22/11 10:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clattertruck:
Beautiful area! We hope to travel west someday. Thanks for the great trip report.
Bob & Cathy


2011 Ford F-350 PSD SC DRW
2008 Bigfoot 25C-10.4E
Firestone airbags - torklift stable-loads,fastguns,Talons Rancho rs 9000XL’s. 2015 Lund Alaskan 1600 tiller.

spacedoutbob

SF Bay Area

Senior Member

Joined: 07/20/2009

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 09/22/11 10:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clattertruck, Great photos and Trip Report! I like the contrast of the Black and White Photos compared to the Colored ones. I need to get a 4 Wheel Drive Truck so I can explore areas like you and your friends do. I would like to visit this area someday. Thanks again for posting!

Bob in Oakland, Calif.


Good Sam Club Life Member


bobndot

USA

Senior Member

Joined: 08/21/2007

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/22/11 10:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clattertruck, you might not be able to hike 15 miles but you sure know how to take some beautiful pictures . Great idea to show in B & W. Thanks for taking the time sharing your trip, it was a very enjoyable journey. Very well done.

Bob

Reminded me of one of the greats . Ansel Adams photography

dgo1369

Georgetown, TX, US

Senior Member

Joined: 11/22/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/22/11 11:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pictures that brought back many good memories. We hosted at Green River SP a few years ago and travelled the Swell many times looking for what we didn't know. I had a Saturn Vue and realized that after a few miles we better not hit TOO rugged roads because, as you said, it's a long way to civilization. I've been to many of the places you took pictures and thank you for bringing me back. Isn't Goblin Valley great?


Dennis Osha


sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

Senior Member

Joined: 10/10/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/22/11 11:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lovely pictures Ron. A nice trail without the worry about breaking stuff and as you said having to hike back.

I've looked down on some of those trails from Dead Horse point etc. before and felt envious as there was no way my rental Buick would go anywhere near them.

I like the B&W. I sometimes use it when I am taking a picture of something where the colors are dull and divert the eye from otherwise striking patterns. E.g. buildings.

PS - thanks for the previous advice about the backlight feature. I found my free-of-charge photo editor (Photoscape) includes such a function and it is quite helpful when used in moderation.

Steve.


'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
'98 Jeep TJ 4.0
'15 Ford Fiesta ST
'09 Fiat Panda 1.2


pa traveler

usa

Senior Member

Joined: 04/04/2010

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 09/23/11 04:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice trip report.

weymard

NORMANDY

Senior Member

Joined: 11/07/2008

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/23/11 04:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excellent trip report, awesome area ! Thanks


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

silversand

Montreal

Senior Member

Joined: 09/12/2004

View Profile



Posted: 09/23/11 05:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ron:

The black & white alternates are superb! Many thanks for your expedition report!

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

Senior Member

Joined: 07/20/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 09/23/11 07:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wonderful trip report and excellant photos. That is an area I hope to explore once I retire, just too far til then. Hope you realize how lucky you are to live so close to so much beauty.


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)


This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Book Cliffs and San Rafael Swell
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2020 CWI, Inc. © 2020 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.