Friday, 8th of June 2012 at 06:07:24 AM

Y.S.N.P trip 2012 day 6: recover + rest in Sin City

I would be only 1 day in Las Vegas but return later for another two days before my flight home. After the eventfull days in the Y.S.N.P. tour I needed some relax. In the morning I bought the obligatory Ice-chest for the car (Walmart 15.99) USD and bought the beveranges for the trip. Then I went back to the Hotel and its nice Pool. Its always relaxing drinking some beers  (3) in the sun. Only two fotos shot today. The evening I prepared the backpack and the travel plan for the tour I would start the next day. It should bring me again back to South Utah.  (I must admit I did also some shopping in the evening).

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Sunday, 10th of June 2012 at 05:52:28 AM

Y.S.N.P 2012 day 7: a crazy day

Too tired to write much just to log my travel the major day events: 4.2o Check out in Las Vegas and 2h30 drive to Zion N.P. In Zion N.P. done two major hikes: Finally the Narrows Hike along the Vrigin River (tried it already last year but water too high) and after returning from Narrows Hike at 2 pm redone the Angel’s Landing hike, which I had done the first time in 2009 and liked very much. After retourning from the mountain, drive to Escalante, UT where my next basecamp would be for 4 nights. Arrived very tired at the Hotel at 10.30 pm.

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Sunday, 10th of June 2012 at 06:07:43 AM

Y.S.N.P. day 8: the Golden Cathedral hike

Today I wanted to see the Golden Cathedral in the Neon Canyon of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. A famous spot for fotografers and Canyon lovers. The trailhead of this hike is on the Egypt branch road at mile 10 of the Hole  in the Rock gravel road. On that road 16 further miles had to be driven to reach the trailhead. Whereas the Hole in the Road access road is quite good to drive, the Egypt road has many rocks and sand. Some points you must be very carefull not to damage the car. I also once touched rock with my Jeep despite the High clearance. All this means the drive time to the trailhead is long. Therefore I had to start early at 5.20 am and arrived at 7 am at the trailhead. The hike is very strenous. Althoug it’s only 13km (9 mile) roundtrip, you must first climb donwn into the canyon, cross the Escalante river and there are no marked trails, so you need good route finding skills or GPS. I had a GPS and the recorded track of this hike (Thanks Matthias R.) otherwise I would have been lost. I arrived 9.20 am at the Golden cathedral and stayed 2h there.

No one was there. On the return a large part of the climbing out of the canyon was on a sand dune, where hiking is very tiring and exhausting. I arrived 2.30 pm at the trailhead and felt like half-dead. After recovering and drinking ice-cold coke I was still tired but decided to do further 2 small hikes to Grand Staircase Escalante’s small slot canyons called Peek-a-boo and Spooky. I had some trouble finding them (presumably due to my exhaustion. Again here it was necessary to climb up from the Canyon Ground to the Trailhead and car park, I did this in Slow motion. Arrived 6 pm at the car and went back to Esclante for dinner .


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Monday, 11th of June 2012 at 05:58:14 AM

Y.S.N.P 2012 day 9: Zebra Slot Canyon

The plan today was to visit the Zebra Slot Canyon 8 miles south on the Hole in the rock road. I had tried this already in 2011 but due to high waterpools the Slot canyon was not accessible last year. I hoped to be more lucky this time. I found the entrance of the Slot Canyon full blown with Sand thus it was no problem to enter and go though the Slot Canyon. Especially the back part is knowwn for its amazing patterns and the Moqui marbles in the walls.

I afterwards visited the exhibition at the BLM ranger station of Escalante and than decided to cruise the Scenic Byway 12, considered one of the most attractive scenic roads of the US. I ended up for evening shots of Bryce Canyon, where I had not been for some time. My favourite spot here is Bryce Point.

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Tuesday, 12th of June 2012 at 06:23:42 AM

Y.S.N.M trip 2012 day 10: Laurent and Capitol Reef

The highlight today was meeting Laurent Matres, whose book series Photographing the Southwest is my favourite Photo Guide book. We met at my hotel for coffee and had a 1h chat about my trip and previous trips and also about his current projects and activities.

He  gave me many tips for new tours in the area. Many thanks again Laurent, you made me really happy.

I had originally planed to visit the Coyote Gulch but felt tired and thus decided to visit another Nationalpark which  was completly new to me, the Capitol Reef National Park near Torrey – around 70 miles east of Escalante. Driving on scenic byway 12 in eastern direction was furthermore very attractive and I knew this route only up to Boulder, UT.

It is amazing to see on such a roadtrip how the landscape  changes from the arid rocky landscape of the Grandstaircase into a immense green forest when climbing up the mountains east of boulder. In Capitol Reef I arrived at times inadequate for photography (noon). I first took the Scenic drive to Capitol Gorge and drove down the Gorge There I did a small 3 miles hike. Then I drove back to the Hickmann Natural Bridge viewpoint for another small 2 miles hike to the natural Bridge.In Capitol Reef I liked very much the choclate icecream topped with whip cream  I arrived at 8pm back in Escalante for a Burger dinner ad Circle D Eatery.

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