Kite-Boarding in Hurricane Sandy

So while most people are trying to lay low during Hurricane Sandy, this guy is taking advantage of the weather. Now I’m not a mathematician but this dude is hauling.  Originally posted on CNN you can find the story here on grind tv watch video below

Moab-The Perfect Getaway

If you haven’t been to Moab, Utah you are missing out on the experience of a lifetime. Within a 30 minutes from downtown Moab you can find rock-climb, river-raft, bike, hike, camp, and fine amazing trails for your motorcycle, four-wheeler, or any other off road vehicle. One could drive on any of the roads outside of the city and there’s an adventure waiting to happen. A friend and I spent this last weekend exploring some new trails and campsites that I highly recommend.

Seven Mile-Rim Road

“Go nine miles north of Moab on U.S. 191. Just across from the Archview Campground (north of Utah Highway 313), turn west to begin the route. Travel a well maintained road for four miles from U.S. 191, then turn west and start up a series of steep ledges. You will pass a “Sevenmile Rim” sign at this turn. Follow the marked trail to Uranium Arch.” (directions courtesy of the BLM)

This trail is awesome, there are many varying degrees of difficulty on this trail. The picture below is an example of some of the more difficult sections, we had to get out of the car in a few spots and plan our path. Along with the rock ledges there are some sandy parts and narrow spots. Most of the trail goes along a wash and depending on the time of year there is usually some water to drive through.

 

Sunshine Wall

A part of me doesn’t want to post about this place because it is pretty secluded and not really well known. When we were there we had the place to ourselves. But here we go, “Sunshine Wall can either be reached by driving roads east from US 191 or by going through Arches NP on a gravel road. Probably the fastest way is from 191. Look for a good non-paved road heading east between mile markers 152 and 153. Drive about a mile, and then take a right immediately after crossing a small bridge. In another ~2 miles, take a right at a T-junction. From here start looking for Sunshine Wall. It will be obvious on the left, and a mild 4WD road cuts off left to the base.” (CourtesyofMountainProject.com)

The wall has a few routes to rock climb, but be advised it’s mostly slab climbing and there aren’t a lot of holds. That being said, a lot of the wall is on an angle that makes the climb a little easier. At the base of the wall there are a few large rocks that serve as perfect wind-breakers to create a pretty secluded camping spot. There are a few trails that you can hike and we saw a few antelope while we were there. The scenery is fantastic and if you’re looking for a spot with little to no other campers this is your spot.

Four Essentials of Any Trip- Diamond Fork Hot Springs

This last weekend me and some friends decided to go somewhere we’d never been- Diamond Fork Hot Springs up Spanish Fork Canyon. I’d heard a lot about this place and was really excited to go – but we never made it- gasp! Ya so this post is going to serve as just a reminder that when you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before, be prepared.

1. Have a good idea of how long it will take you to get to your destination, and then make sure you have scheduled enough time to do it. That was our main problem, its a 2.5 mile hike to the springs and by the time we found what we thought might be the trail head it was 11:30 pm. We hadn’t planned on staying the night and we weren’t 100% sure that we were even at the right trail.

2. Make sure your group is fully aware of the demands of the trip. I have to hand it to my friends, they weren’t exactly avid outdoors-men, and I could sense their dismay when I told them that the hike would be longer than expected, and then again when they found out it will be pitch black, and then again when we couldn’t really find the trail head, ha ha. With all of this being said though they never complained or suggested giving up, I was the one who eventually pulled the plug.

3. Don’t forget to bring the proper equipment! With just a short hike I hadn’t really planned on bring anything but my swim suit for when we got to the springs. Comically enough I hadn’t thought to bring a flash light, not one of my prouder moments.

4. Don’t plan too much and don’t be surprised when the plans you do have fall through. This was the only thing that didn’t make the trip a total failure, everybody had the right mind set and so when we didn’t end up at our destination we still enjoyed the adventure of driving down Spanish Fork Canyon and being in good company. Part of the reason of camping and the outdoors is the adventure, and to RELAX! Don’t overload your trip with things to do or it will feel more like a chore and check list than a vacation.

We have every intention of going back to Diamond Fork Hot Springs and having a good time, natural hot springs are a perfect destination for any time of year- but fall and winter is fantastic. They are usually not very long and are a good day trip, just keep in mind the four points above for trips like this or any kind of trip really and have fun!

Coyote Gulch

Coyote Gulch is located in southern Utah and is part of the Escalante river and it is an awesome backpacking trip and is perfect for a two day trip or five days or forever. Part of what makes the Gulch such an experience is the fact that it allows you to enjoy all of the aspects of southern Utah- the red rocks, the arches and other formations, and crisp canyon rivers and waterfalls- not to mention slot canyons.

To really enjoy Coyote Gulch it is necessary to backpack in and stay at least two days, unless you’re training for a triathlon and are running the trail- bad idea. There are about four to five different trails that one could take to get into the gulch. The one that I have always taken is called the crack route, named because part of the hike involves traversing a crack in the edge of the canyon. There are other routes that are apparently not as intense as this one. The hike in starts on the edge of a huge rock plateau, this portion is fairly easy but it is a little difficult to follow the rock cairns (if you don’t know what these are, the picture below is an example.) However, like i said earlier- this is the easy part.

The next portion is by far the hardest, and its because of this section that I would probably discourage the less experienced traveler from attempting it. The rock plateau ends at a cliff, anywhere from 15-30 ft high or higher in some spots. The only way to get down this and to the sand hill that will take you into the actual gulch is to traverse through a slot canyon/crevasse-this is where things get exciting. If you have backpacked in you’re not going to be able to fit through the crevasse with your pack on. What my group did was we sent someone through the crevasse first and then lowered the packs over the edge with a rope and then the person below would untie the pack at the bottom. The crevasse isn’t too extensive and depending on your groups hiking/climbing ability, it should take the average person 20-30 min.

The next portion is the sand hill, going down isn’t too bad. If I remember correctly its anywhere from a half mile to a mile. If you are wearing sandals you will want to run because that sand is hot! I have many fond memories of my friends screaming in shock and then starting to run down the hill. There isn’t much of a trail here but it just kind of feeds into the narrow canyon at the bottom. You’ll want to plan for this hill when you’re coming back, not to get caught hiking up the sand hill in the middle of the day- it is the hardest part of the return trip.

After the sand hill you are in the gulch, congratulations! This is probably the most enjoyable part of the hike, you can hike along the side or just in the river if you want as you go up through the canyon. There are camping sites along the river, but if you can try and camp under one of the many inlets in the canyon do it. After you’ve set up camp you have many rock formations that you can hike to relatively easily. This is a must for any outdoor enthusiast, and therefore sometimes it can be crowded but the canyons big enough that you shouldn’t run into too many problems. There is a running stream literally throughout the whole canyon so if you bring a water purifier than you’ll have ample source. Oh and by the way, the horse flies can be bad down there- be careful!!

Welcome to iwrite Outdoor

Welcome to iwrite Outdoor, this site is dedicated to discovering and reminiscing about the adventures in the untamed wilderness. Featured on this site will be information about camping sites, whether they are known by many or just a handful of people. Also posted will be information including but not limited to camping gear and activities such as fishing, hiking, rock-climbing, bouldering, hunting, outdoor cooking, and general tips on how to better enjoy God’s green earth.