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5000-Mile Road Trip 2009

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Ellen Homontowski
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Utah's
Basin & Range Areas

*Click photos to enlarge*

Wet Sandy Trail goes into the Pine Valley Mts from I-15, north of Toquerville. The lower few miles of the canyon is no longer with water due to re-routing (for what we don't know yet), and the old dirt road trail ends after about 1.5 miles where you now join the new maintenance road at a fenced reservoir. If followed up a couple more hours on this new maintenance road to the end you can join up with the old dirt road for a while longer till brush takes over. Supposedly it is/was 17 miles one-way from start to Pine Valley through the mountains but we never got that far! Spectacular views and pretty hiking in winter
After the maintenance road ended and back on the old trail (left); water that no longer exists in the wash (right)
Another canyon north of Wet Sandy is the Dry Sandy Trail. This is a bit hot in summer (great in winter) and better hiking after a rain due to the difficulty in sand. Wind is blocked by the canyon walls most of the way, but has now been blocked off to 4-wheelers. This, too, eventually ends in brush

(see more of these desert flowers)

Views from our turn-around point, making the hike about 6-miles RT. The hike can be continued below this point heading up another trail from the wash but it ends in brush

Further north, the Browse exit from I-15 drives up a ways where some folks camp and hang out in the creek. There are trails that meander from this road for hiking, etc., with great views. Watch out for snakes!
This next hike north of Browse is a water hike in Leap Creek, very refreshing in the summer. In the first half mile if you look hard enough you can find a huge wall of petroglyphs

The Black Ridge is the eastern edge of the Basin & Range and west of the Colorado Plateau (Horse Ranch Mt in Zion NP, 4th image below). Our hike on this area of the Black Ridge began on a narrow dirt road that forked off from the "Toquerville Falls" road (really the falls are of LaVerkin Creek, 3rd image below, zoomed-in & blurry). Hiking up the steep anticline past the communication towers gave us gorgeous views! The 1st image of a distant view of the ridge was taken from the old Wet Sandy Trail and the 2nd image is from one of our hikes we take from home in LaVerkin. 

An ancient fossil--the sea bottom moved up this high (left); exiting the canyon (right)

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Dry Sandy turn-around point

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