Archive for the ‘Southern Utah’ Category

Pictures of Southern Utah Along Highway 12 and 95

Devil’s Garden –

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Hogsback –

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Looking from one side of the highway over to the other side.

The 4th picture is along Calf Creek before heading up to Hogsback.

Grosverner’s Arch –


Grainary in Capitol Reef –


Near Butler Wash –

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New Dinosaur Park opening near Moab, Utah

The pre-opening is planned for 1st of September 2015 and GRAND OPENING is scheduled for 1st of MARCH 2016.

From the website:

“About Paleosafari Moab Giants

Moab is located at the southern corner of “Dinosaur Diamond”. The Dinosaur Diamond is an area on the border of Utah and Colorado, where some of the first dinosaurs were discovered during the times of the conquest of the Wild West. It is still the region where the greatest number of dinosaur species have been found.

Our project is to create an outdoor dinosaur tracks museum, where the local discoveries will be easy available to the public. This project is going to protect and exhibit our Jurassic track site, as well as to show the ancient world of Utah dinosaurs according to several other finds from surrounding lands..”

Butler Wash Road and the Moki Dugway in Utah

Here’s an update on Butler Wash Road in Southern Utah. Having driven it in the past month, I have to say it’s in pretty good condition. There was one wash that dipped pretty steeply and was soft sand trying to get back up the other side. This was located on the north end of the road, close to highway 95. The rest of the road was well graded and the washes were at that time dry. I would recommend a high clearance vehicle because of the wash areas.

If you are thinking about taking the Moki Dugway, that too was in good shape. Windy of course, but ample. I wouldn’t recommend a larger over-sized vehicle (in fact I think they are restricted on that road). Drive slowly and take your time! There were a ton of cows on the road north of the dugway, so keep a look out.

From the Bluff, Utah Website:

Moki Dugway (A.K.A. Mokee Dugway) on State Route 261 in San Juan County, Utah.  The highway decends/climbs 1,100 feet in just 3 miles on a dirt road carved out of steep rock cliffs.

Moki Dugway (A.K.A. Mokee Dugway) on State Route 261 in San Juan County, Utah. The highway decends/climbs 1,100 feet in just 3 miles on a dirt road carved out of steep rock cliffs.

Photo by Daniel Schwen

“The Moki Dugway is a staggering, graded dirt switchback road carved into the face of the cliff edge of Cedar Mesa.  It consists of 3 miles of steep, unpaved, but well graded switchbacks (11% grade), which wind 1,200 feet from Cedar Mesa to the valley floor near Valley of the Gods.  This route provides breathtaking views of some of Utah’s most beautiful sites.  Scenic views of Valey of the Gods and distant Monument valley open at every turn of the dugway.

The Moki Dugway was constructed in the 1950’s provide a way to haul ore from the Happy Jack Mine on Cedar Mesa to the mill in Halchita, near Mexican Hat.

The State of Utah recommends that only vehicles less than 28 feet and 10,000 pounds attempt to negotiate the dugway.  The remainder of US-261 is paved.”

Love the Art – Coffee Shop in Beaver, Utah

Love the Art – Coffee Shop in Beaver, Utah


One of my favorite states to visit is by far Utah! Finding a great coffee shop however can be a little tricky. Driving along Interstate 15, heading towards Red Canyon, I pulled off at the town of Beaver hoping to find something beyond another cup of McDonald’s coffee (yes, it can come down to that). Wow, was I in for one of the best coffee experiences in my life! No Joke!

Love the Art at first glance looks like a gas station that has been re-made into a rock shop. Upon further investigation, I noticed the espresso and smoothie sign. It was almost like a mirage in this vast country of very few artisan coffee shops. It is indeed a rock shop and coffee shop, with some of the most spectacular stone pieces I have ever seen. Visiting with one of the owners, Tina, I learned that her family owned numerous quarries in the area. Her father, a master carver, had pieces on display that were world-class.

The coffee set-up is unlike anything I have experienced. She mentioned that she attended a coffee convention in Portland and had picked out her favorite coffee as well as smoothies (with the help of her sister and father).

They use three different types of brewing methods –

Brews coffee using two chambers, where heating and cooling the lower vessel change the vapor pressure of water in the lower, first pushing the water up into the upper vessel, then allowing the water to fall back down into the lower vessel.
Pour Over
A method for brewing Coffee which involves pouring water over roasted, ground coffee beans contained in a filter. Water seeps through the coffee, absorbing its oils and essences, solely under gravity, then passes through the bottom of the filter.

Cold Brew
Cold brewed coffee naturally seems sweeter due to its lower acidity. Because the coffee beans in cold-press coffee never come into contact with heated water, the process of leaching flavor from the beans produces a different chemical profile than conventional brewing methods.

Sounds pretty straight forward, but check out the equipment!


If you are driving anywhere near the area, stop on in. You will not be disappointed! Oh, I should mention, I still crave the cup of coffee I got there! First class coffee and art – what more could you ask for?

Little Egypt Geological Site, Southern Utah

Little Egypt Geological Site

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Always looking for interesting things on the map, I noticed in small type “Little Egypt Geological Site” near the Henry Mountains in Southern Utah. There’s little to no cell service in the area, so you have to pay close attention to landmarks to find the correct road. There isn’t a sign until after you have turned off. If you like geological goblins, this is a must stop along this route.

There are areas to camp and a few fire pits. There isn’t any shade though, but once the sun goes down past the Henry Mountains, it is quite pleasant. The weather in the area can be finicky. Strong winds often blow here and I can’t attest to how protected you are in this area. The site is located off a pretty well maintained dirt road and it isn’t very far in from the highway if you are coming from State Route 95.

The formations at this site are in my opinion quite different than those at Devil’s Garden south of Escalante. They are more reddish in color and remind me more of mud/softer sandstone. There are a lot of interesting rocks in the are as well.

Directions: Heading south from Hanksville along State Route 95, it’s approximately 4.2 miles after (south) the Garfield County line, just past (south) mile marker 20, turn right (west) on the “Scenic Backway” road towards North Wash. There’s a sign just off the highway to “Little Egypt Geologic Site.” The site is less than two miles off the highway.

Shooting Star RV Park near Escalante, Utah


From the website:

The Shooting Star RV Resort, formerly the Shooting Star Drive-In, is under new ownership and is now open to all RVs and campers in addition to the Airstreams.

Your hosts, Troy and Michelle invite you to vacation like a Hollywood star in one of our eight star-studded Airstreams with décor that will make you feel like you are on the movie set of films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Some Like It Hot, Viva Las Vegas, or Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

If you prefer, you can park your own RV in one of the large pull-through sites with full hook-ups or choose from the many secluded sites surrounded by oak and sage brush if you would like more privacy. RV sites can also be used for those that simply want to pitch a tent.”

Driving along one of my favorite highways in the entire US, Highway 12 in Utah, I came across another vintage RV park! Talk about the perfect setting! I wish I had been able to stop, but am definitely adding this to my list for my next visit.

Black Dragon Petroglyph

Nestled in a canyon along Interstate 70 in Utah


Here’s a great link

Getting to the Black Dragon Petroglyph

I would skip the first canyon as you go along the road. It’s a relatively unpleasant hike. Keep going up the road to the entrance to the canyon with the Black Dragon. This makes a great road stop to stretch and see some unique petroglyphs. They have even shot movies using the title of Black Dragon. I was staying in Hanksville years ago where I met a film crew from Hollywood. Talk about a change of scenery for them. The movie was a flop, but hey, it’s always an adventure.


More Guides to the Southwest

A few more recommendations if you are headed to the southwest this summer – or winter (which in my opinion is even better – no snakes and cooler weather).

Ancient Ruins of the Southwest by David Grant Noble

Canyon Country Arches and Bridges by F.A. Barnes

The Utah Guide by Allan Kent Powell  – I love this guide for the “on the road” portion of the adventure. It gives you great information about the areas you are driving through from history, to where to stay, good places to eat, landmarks, museums etc. If you have a co-pilot, it’s great to have them read about the areas you are driving through. It makes the adventure even better.

Day Trips with a Splash: Swimming Holes of the Southwest by Doll and Freely

Southwest Utah Guidebook ~ Hiking the Southwest’s Canyon Country

Are you headed out to explore Southwest Utah and Northern Arizona? It can be difficult to find a good guidebook as there are many mediocre ones flooding the market. The first book we stumbled across that had a lot of substance is Sandra Hinchman’s ~ Hiking the Southwest’s Canyon Country. We own an older version that is now tattered and marked up. To me, that is the sign of a good guidebook. The author uses a great format that leads you on an adventure throughout the canyon country of the southwest. We didn’t follow her journey, but gleaned tons of information and hikes from it. One of our favorite adventures was in Mule Canyon – but that is for another post.

@ Amazon

Kiva Koffeehouse

If you are trekking through southwest Utah on highway 12, plan to make a pit-stop at the Kiva Koffeehouse. With amazing canyon views, there is no coffee shop on earth quite like it. With a great selection of food and drinks, it’s the perfect place to take in the greatness of the Escalante Grand Staircase. They have a great selection of local info and hiking guides. Additionally, they have a few rooms to rent. Unfortunately, they do not take pets, so we have never stayed – though would have loved to. Check out their sight – it’s a stop not to be passed by!