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Thread: Memorial Weekend, San Rafael Swell

  1. #1

    Memorial Weekend, San Rafael Swell

    I spent Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Weekend in the San Rafael Swell. My family and a friend camped on Buckhorn Flat at the base of Cedar Mountain. We covered about 120 miles on the ATVs throughout the weekend, hitting some places close to camp and also riding to Box Flat and Buckhorn Wash and Calf Canyon.

    I pulled into camp on Thursday evening, and after setting up, went for a short ride. We checked out some rock art and an abandoned school bus that had been converted into a camper.


    School bus

    Our campsite

    Petroglyphs at camp

    Power lines across Buckhorn Flat

    On Friday, we rode down Buckhorn Wash to check out the rock art panel, then headed up Calf Canyon. There was a trickle of water flowing through Calf Canyon, and there we saw some toads and a bat. The canyon was mighty green and it looked very inviting to hike further up-canyon past the end of the road.

    Globemallow at the Buckhorn rock art panel

    Buckhorn pictographs

    Toads in Calf Canyon

    Bat in Calf Canyon

    A pond in Calf Canyon

    End of the road in Calf Canyon

    Pine Canyon

    Cactus growing on a boulder back at camp

    Friday evening sunset

    Saturday was a long, fun-filled day. We rode along the old railroad grade at the base of Cedar Mountain and checked the many petroglyph panels. Then it was a fast jaunt over to Box Flat for lunch, and after eating we explored a nearby cave. After returning to camp that evening, the kids and I hiked up Cedar Mountain above camp.

    Petroglyphs along the base of Cedar Mountain

    Riding along the old railroad grade

    Kiln near the railroad grade

    Culvert under the grade

    Cut along the grade

    Box Flat was surprisingly green

    Above the cave

    I dropped my gear here to explore the cave

    My family waited near the entrance while I went deep inside

    A water course has carved the cave out deep below a thick sandstone layer

    Cave entrance

    Climbing Cedar Mountain above camp

    Sunday was a relatively easy day. We rode to "Hamburger Rocks," then to the end of the road at Hambrick Bottom. On the way back to camp, I stopped to photograph a gopher snake, but it slithered away from me and crawled up into my wife's ATV. It took about 10 minutes to get it to leave. Later in the afternoon, I rode up a gnarly trail on Cedar Mountain north of camp, then took another trail up to Little Cedar Mountain and enjoyed some nice views of Buckhorn Flat.

    Hamburger Rocks

    San Rafael River at Hambrick Bottom

    Gopher snake in the 4-wheeler

    Trail up Cedar Mountain

    Parked above camp

    The main road up Little Cedar Mountain

    Parked near the summit of Little Cedar Mountain

    Pano from Little Cedar

    Torrey at the summit

    Here's the full photo gallery:
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  3. #2
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    We're all here, because we ain't all there.
    Nice panels, Dennis. Looks like a nice weekend with family

  4. #3
    Great TR and pics - THX!

  5. #4

  6. #5
    nice way to spend the weekend !! cool pics to

  7. #6
    Nice trip report, looks like a lot of fun. The swell sure is green this year!

  8. #7
    Cool weekend trip report, can't wait to go now. thanks

  9. #8
    Great TR!

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