We have visited an area in the south west of the United States called the ‘Colorado Plateau‘ a number of times now. The plateau covers the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and southern Utah. It is characterised by high desert, deep canyons, steep rock cliffs, forests and vivid colours. For us the attraction is in the vast wild countryside that provides endless adventures for backpacking, exploring, hiking, scrambling as well as paddling and rock climbing. There are many signs of prehistoric cultures too: Ancestral Puebloan, including the ‘Anasazi,’ Sinagua, Fremont, and Cohonina. And thankfully much of the area is public lands such as National Parks, National Monuments and Wilderness Areas (although under some threat from the current Trump administration).
Listed below are our outdoor adventures- many with links to blog posts.
We visited California in Autumn 2019 and took a 10 day break to hike in southern Utah again from September 14th. We stayed in the Escalante catchment for another two excellent 4 day hikes covering some new territory for us.
We returned to southern Utah and the Grand Canyon in Arizona in October 2018 for more backpacking in this wonderful area.
Back again to the canyons and high desert of the US south west in October 2017! We flew from Scotland to Las Vegas and rented a car with 3 and a half weeks to get out and backpack further into some new areas.
Back to the desert and canyons of southern Utah and northern Arizona in September/ October 2016. Two years ago we hiked and kayaked our own version of the Hayduke Trail. Having enjoyed it so much we returned this year with a rental car to hike to some other canyons and interesting places. Whilst we wouldn’t get the full immersion of a multi month hike such as the Hayduke, we were aiming to target some of the most spectacular places in the region with some trips ranging from 1 to 5 days.
The Hayduke Trail is a 800 mile hike and scramble through the canyons of the Colorado Plateau in southern Utah and northern Arizona USA. Read about our trip on this wonderful route here…Hayduke hike
We had 6 months in the USA in 2009 to mainly hike the wonderful Continental Divide Trail. We also managed a few short trips to the desert south west before after the CDT though…
Grand Junction CO – Colorado National Monument
Montrose CO – Dominguez canyon
Mesa Verda National Park CO
Montrose CO – Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP
Montrose CO – Dolores Canyon
New Mexico – Chaco Canyon
Arizona – Monument Valley
Canyonlands NP – Needles hikes
Moab UT – Slickrock trails mountain bike
Canyonlands NP – Islands in the Sky
Our first visit to southern Utah and it was a bit of a revelation to us contrasting with the green and wet Scottish scenery. We did a number of hikes, scrambles and rock climbs…
Grand junction CO – Colorado National Monument
Moab- Kane Valley rock climbs
Moab – Negro Bill canyon
Arches NP – Off Balance Rock rock climb
Arches NP – Owl Rock rock climb
San Rafeal Reef
Goblin SP – Wildhorse Canyon – Crack Canyon
Capital Reef NP – Fern’s Nipple
Capital Reef NP – Sulphur Creek, Cassiday Arch
Capital Reef NP -Burro canyon, Rim Overlook trail
Escalante – Upper and Lower Calf Creek Falls
Escalante – Coyote Gulch and Stevens Canyon
Escalante – Spooky and Peekaboo Gulches
Grand Gulch loop hike
Canyonlands NP – South Six Shooter rock climb
Canyonlands NP -Needles
Moab – Slickrock mountain bike
Moab – Fisher Towers, Ancient Art rock climb
Moab – Castleton Tower rock climb
Grand Junction – Independance Monument rock climb
Telluride – Lizard Head peak