Blanding to Hite via Dark Canyon

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by DCZ, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dove Creek, Co.
    We had talked about this ride for 2 years - this was the day to ride.

    The plan was to get an early start from Blanding, ride the Causeway, Gooseberry Road, and the access to Dark Canyon Wilderness to see Scorup Cabin. From there, come back out to the Gooseberry and get on the Woodenshoe road to finish at Hite on the beautiful shores of Lake Powell. We did not deviate from the plan - much!

    Like most trips it begins with some pavement


    Hit the wrong button and posted instead of going back - will keep going as soon as I can figure out how to post pics again!

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    #1
  2. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Dove Creek, Co.
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    The early morning shadows - and cold to boot!
    #2
  3. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    The first big decision
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    The causeway is a crooked windy road that has the first of many fantastic views
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    This road links up with the Gooseberry Road on Elk Ridge - more fantastic views!

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    #3
  4. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Off Elk Ridge is the Dark Canyon Wilderness. There is an access road down Peavine Canyon for mechanized use. The goal for this section was to get to the Scorup Cabin

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    #4
  5. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Peavine Canyon is a mix of ponderosa pine, sagebrush and cottonwoods. A few cedars and some water all in a sandy soil with towering cliffs.

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    This arch indicates the intersection to go to either Scorup Cabin or Rig Canyon

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    The ride was pretty uneventful - cool crisp morning - beautiful scenery - until we arrived at this wash.

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    Past efforts to cross had been rearranged by the summer thunderstorms - so we rearranged it again!

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    Made a dandy crossing!

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    #5
  6. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Nice bridge! :lurk Following along . . .
    #6
  7. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Another mile or so - lots of cows and a small muddy crossing and we were at the wilderness boundary - the jumping off point to walk to the Scorup Cabin

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    Tack and grain shed near the cabin

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    Looking back at Scorup Cabin

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    I'll finish the ride later this evening - too nice a day not to ride.
    #7
  8. rider914

    rider914 Agnostic Adventurer

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    It's been far too many years since i've been to Scorup Cabin. Last time, the road was way overgrown and almost totally washed away at the turnoff from Peavine to Dark. I think we had to hike the last 1/2 mile to the cabin.
    Don't remember any wilderness boundary. How far was that from the cabin?

    I've been wanting to do this one for a loooong time :thumb

    :lurk

    -M
    #8
  9. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    @rider914 - the wilderness sign was about 100 yards from the cabin

    Well we're back from another ride - had to take the wife up to see the beautiful scenery - looped the Cottonwood Canyon to Natural bridges - we'll be back

    Back to the original ride - after we went to the Scorup Cabin we chatted with a young cowboy rounding up cows in the area - nice guy and what a life.
    We were on our way out when the little muddy crossing going in turned into a bigger obstacle going out

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    Might not look bad to some but we had a heck of a time getting the BRP out!

    The beasts after the crossing filled with the remnants of cows living there!

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    Pretty uneventful trip out after the mudhole - great view of Arch Canyon

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    Colorado River canyon from the Woodenshoe road - there's a lot of the Woodenshoe after you get out of the pinyon juniper forest - lots of the Woodenshoe!

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    We would ride through the pinyons - stop and gather some pinyon nuts - ride 'till we ran out then stop and get some more. Pinyon nuts don't happen that often so we get them when we can!

    Made it to Hite!

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    #9
  10. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Hite had cold drinks and gasoline - next stop top of Blue Notch. If you look close through the haze you can see Good Hope Bay on Lake Powell.

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    Poser shot

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    Looking back at the country we had just travelled

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    Making our way back toward Blanding picking pinyon nuts and enjoying the day we decided to take one more "short cut".
    The old road out of Comb Wash.

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    This was the way we went to Lake Powell when I was a kid. Still a bit of a kid but the road has deteriorated over the years since the cut was shot through the ridge and the road paved.

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    It was a great day that satisfied my curiosity about the back way to Hite, the motorized access in Dark Canyon and we saw some amazing places - places we'll go back and explore.

    Last shot of the day from the top of Comb Ridge on the old road looking back at the rest of the ridge trailing away into the haze.

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    #10
  11. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

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    :lurk
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  12. woodschip

    woodschip Adventurer

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    Thanks for sharing.You obviously have great places to ride.:clapAm afraid I'm a bit envious.:wink: Hope you have many more epic rides to enjoy!:D
    #12
  13. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Thanks woodschip - when we were in Tennessee we were blown away at the greenery - totally different - in a good way - from our part of the country.

    We have some great places to ride - come out sometime and we'd be glad to show you around!

    Rick
    #13
  14. exjeeper

    exjeeper my shit's a mess...

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    Nice write up Rick. Wish I hadn't used all of my vacation!

    That is definitely some beautiful country, and the log crossing
    would've made even Colebatch proud!

    Can't believe that cabin is still so undisturbed.....

    Thanks for sharing.
    #14
  15. dctrail

    dctrail n00b

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    It was a great ride. We found about a dozen more place's along the way that we would like to explore. If anyone is planning to ride the woodenshoe road to Hite, I lost my iPhone somewhere along the way. Thanks DCZ for being a great planner and guide.
    #15
  16. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Checking this area out on Benchmark Maps. Remote. That mud pit looked challenging. Wouldn't want to ride into that solo.

    Nice ride report! Thanks. :D
    #16
  17. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Thanks RedRockRider!

    It is wonderfully remote - especially the Woodenshoe portion to Hite. The roads in that area are built in that transition from red shale to sandy dirt. This makes a great road but once you get out of the track it is like marbles! Almost missed a few corners - then there were the washes - the bottom of every draw had a 6 inch or so cut in it from the last rain. Lots of picking up the front wheel to reduce hitting the bottom of each washout - good workout!

    The muddy place saved us 150' of walking - wasn't worth it. Of course we didn't know that going in. I'm just glad Terence is as strong as he is - I would have had to take the damn thing apart to have gotten it out! We were a muddy/cowpie mess when we finally got out of there.

    Our route:

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Blanding,+UT&daddr=37.63784,-109.4754+to:Forest+Rd+088%2FGooseberry+to:peavine+Canyon,+San+Juan,+UT+to:Woodenshoe,+Monticello,+UT+to:The+Toe,+San+Juan,+UT+to:Squaw+Rock+Road,+San+Juan,+UT+to:Hite,+UT+to:Blue+Notch+Road,+San+Juan,+UT+to:posey+S+Trail+to:Cottonwood,+Blanding,+UT+to:Blanding,+UT&hl=en&sll=37.595464,-109.556007&sspn=0.165393,0.263329&geocode=FWUZPgId3355-SmB3yBRuHg3hzGZDRD2L-FDYg%3BFdBOPgIduIl5-SkT-epOgNQ5hzEVBiRMUOUgjA%3BFRZlQQIdHvt0-Q%3BFXOLQAIdtbVz-SntXKN4TZc3hzEq64uQmxzJ8w%3BFXWMPwId1Ih0-SnXVfFFZps3hzHxbWZOQiQqCA%3BFfv5PgIdok9y-Skdn4v6qZg3hzEjZVPqzxNShA%3BFRBQQQIdbhZu-SkF3zb4e7Y3hzEJJ4tInBM-pw%3BFYG9QQIdLH5r-SlFol57Las3hzF-9mgr4HwTBw%3BFeEiQAId7BZs-SkxgAdOvkw2hzEGNMrkDyZIqw%3BFetePQIdAcB2-Q%3BFXotPQIdseJ3-Sm3VWOiP343hzGwPSKB1E7PQg%3BFWUZPgId3355-SmB3yBRuHg3hzGZDRD2L-FDYg&oq=bland&mra=ls&via=1&t=m&ie=UTF8&ll=37.695905,-109.93377&spn=0.36883,0.92508&output=embed" frameborder="0" height="350" scrolling="no" width="425"></iframe>
    <small>View Larger Map</small>
    #17
  18. exjeeper

    exjeeper my shit's a mess...

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    The map was a nice addition. Exjeeperwife and I went for a color ride
    Sunday up and over the blue Mountains and came out in Blanding. Went right by
    the turnoff to Elk Ridge-Causeway just south of the Nizhoni campground I believe.

    Looking at your map, it appears you went through Fry Canyon....are there still services there?
    I always looked forward to stopping there as a kid on the way to Lake Powell!
    #18
  19. exjeeper

    exjeeper my shit's a mess...

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    Terence, don't know if your phone is still missing and I know even less about iPhones, but I've heard that
    if you logon to your apple account and answer the requested info, they can give you the gps coordinates
    where your phone is... again, don't know if this is true but it may be worth checking out....
    #19
  20. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Thanks!

    Yep - that's the place. The Causeway early in the morning made me see the value of a GoPro camera - if I would have stopped and taken pictures of all the scenes that looked worthy we wouldn't have made it out before dark.

    No services at Fry Canyon any more - it looks to be inhabited though.

    How's the road over the Blues?
    #20