Some cool utah backpacking images:
Desert Mariposa Lily
Image by Al_HikesAZ
This is a Desert Mariposa Lily (Calochortus kennedyi) I was hiking the Vineyard Trail north of Roosevelt Dam and Roosevelt Lake heading into the Four Peaks Wilderness. There were meadows of these in bloom this year. We had a lot of rain this winter making 2008 spectacular for wildflowers in the Sonoran Desert. This trail is part of the Arizona Trail AZT which crosses Arizona from the border with Mexico to the border with Utah.
Lonely Dell Ranch – Lee’s Ferry Arizona
Image by Al_HikesAZ
This is one of the buildings preserved on the Lonely Dell Ranch historic park at Lee’s Ferry Arizona. The early Mormon pioneer – John Doyle Lee and his wives lived in this area. One wife is said to have remarked – when first seeing this site – that this was such a “Lonely Dell” and the name stuck. The site is comprised of several buildings, an orchard a cemetery and restored irrigation projects.
The Lonely Dell Ranch and Lees Ferry Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is managed by the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Lee’s Ferry provided the crossing of the Colorado River until 1929 when the original Navajo Bridge was built. Many Mormon settlers in Arizona made the trip to the LDS Temple in St. George Utah to solemnize their marriage and this route became known as “The Honeymoon Trail”.
Zane Grey wrote about the Lee’s Ferry crossing in The Last of the Plainsmen (1908):
I saw the constricted rapids, where the Colorado took its plunge into the box-like head of the Grand Canyon of Arizona; and the deep, reverberating boom of the river, at flood height, was a fearful thing to hear. I could not repress a shudder at the thought of crossing above that rapid.
The Zion Narrows
Image by terratrekking
As the winter drags on here in Colorado, I find my self plotting and scheming of ways to sneak to southern Utah for a long weekend. I am not sure if it is proven fact but it sure seems to me like spring comes to Grand Staircase about a month earlier than it does for Denver. So, by about the end of February / beginning of March I am totally craving a trip to the red rock country. Normally my uncle and I slip away for a short backpacking trip at the beginning of march to celebrate his birthday every year. However, this year I have a business trip so we are not going to get to go. In an effort to make myself feel better about not going I have resorted to looking through some of my photos from previous trips… This is the Narrows hike in Zion National Park if you have never been I highly recommend putting it on your to do list. This is a 9 mile round trip hike from the Temple of Sinawava to Big Springs. but what makes it really cool is you wade through the Virgin River the entire way. If you don’t feel up to 9 miles of hiking you can turn around at any point and head back but if you are any thing like me your sense of adventure will carry you all the way to Big Spring. 😀