Thursday, 18th of April 2013 at 08:14:57 PM

Canyonlands 2013 day 0: MUC – SFO – LAS

Flight from Munich to San Francisco and connecting flight to Las Vegas. A endless day starting at 4 pm from Munich and arriving at 3 am (next day) Las Vegas time in my bed at Flamingo Las Vegas. I knew already all movies on the flight mediathek and rewatched Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise, which I liked very much despite bad Reviews. Next to me in the 11 hour transatlantic flight a Romanian Lady living in  San Diego. She drank 8 (eight) glasses of Lufthansa-Merlot during the flight. This is a frequency of approx. 1 glas every 1 and 1/2 hour. I was impressed and scared.

We started with 1 h delay in Munich and same in San Francisco. In both cases the airplane arrived too late from previous flight.  A day to Forget quickly.

The only Highlight was the pickup of my rental car at Mac Carran. I got my highly desired Jeep Grand Jerokee Laredo 4×4. Brandnew! Only 2600 miles driven. Latest Model with Bluetooth Audio and fullsize Infotainment package. It was the last available Jeep GC. I could not imagine that this joy would last only 48h and 530 miles. (see Day 2 report)

My Jeep Grand Cherokee at the California to Nevada border.




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Thursday, 18th of April 2013 at 08:46:42 PM

Canyonlands 2013 day 1: Warm Up

On my first day I  usually make some purchasings like Ice Chest (Walmart), soft Drinks, Water, Trail Food. I did this early in the morning because at 10 am I met our friends Karsten and his wife Zhen for breakfast buffet  at Bellagio Hotel. They are touring the first time USA Southwest and we had arranged this funny get-together. They live 1 mile away from me in Munich.

with Karsten and Zhen in the Bellagio Garden

After brunch I sorted my pack and went then for 2 hours to Flamingo pool enjoying Nevada sun. At the early afternoon I had planed a small photographing Warm up session at Valley of Fire Statepark. It is located a 1h drive North from Las Vegas. It was a good Occasion to check if my pack is complete, I remember how to use the GPS, test my new Lowepro backpack and my new Hiking Boots, and finally get a Feeling for the Jeep.


Arch in the Fire Canyon

photographing my shadow


I returned at 8pm in the Hotel. I was so sleepy that I just ate a Sandwich, drank 1 beer and went to bed and fall immediately asleep.

Hiking Mileage today:   6 km / 3.8 miles

Yant Flat (9.3 km) Hidden Canyon (3.5 km)

Hiking Mileage total:    6 km / 3.8 miles


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Thursday, 18th of April 2013 at 08:47:57 PM

Canyonlands 2013 day 2: flat tire in the Death Valley

2004 was my last visit of the Death Valley. Thus I had planned to revisit it and take some shots with my new cam. I started early from Las Vegas and arrived around 8am at Death Valley North Entrance to visit Scottys Castle and drive from North to South, Around 1o miles south of Scotty Castle I noticed the cockpit display alarming tire pressure. I switsched to the tire pressure control screen which alearmed pressure loss on the front left tire. I stopped and found indeed a flat tire front left.

front left flat tire

It had never happend to me before, and it was shocking that it happend here in the Death Valley. I luckily found all tools and spare tire in the Jeep and began to replace the flat tire with the spare tire. The spare tire was rated for max. 50 mph. I was still around 150 miles away from Las Vegas Rental Car facility.

seizing the spare tire

After I had succesfully mounted the spare tire I decided to drive not faster than 45 mph and try to reach Las Vegas car rental facility. I checked the wole drive the pressure control screen. Now I could not afford another tire loss cause only one spare tire with the car. Driving only 45mph did not allow me to use the freeway. Thus I decided to drive through Shoshone, Pahrump and Mountain springs to Vegas.

visual tire pression control display of the Jeep

I stopped only twice. Once at Zabriski Point and once at Red Rock Canyon 20 miles west of LV.

stop at Zabriskie Point

stop at Red Rock Canyon

I decided to drive to the Hotel and remove my personel staff from the car, before driving to the rental car station at Mc Carran. I arrived at 3 pm at my Hotel. It had took me around 5h to drive back at 45 mph. I was so happy to have it made back to Las Vegas and decide to go to Flamingo Pool as lomg as sun was still shining.

Flamingo Pool

After the sun had gone down I took a shower and drove the Jeep back to the Rental Car center, where I got smoothly a new car. Unfortunately there was no Jeep Grand Cherokee available. I chose the Kia Sorrento V6. But did not really like it. It did not have all the electronic gimmicks like the Jeep. I was not too annoyed, because the relief having made it back to Las Vegas predominated. The next day I would start my roundtrip driving north on I-15 to Utah, thus It seemed I would have to renounce to drive a Grand Cherokee this year.

Hiking Mileage today:   0

Hiking Mileage total:    6 km / 3.8 miles

curious incidents today: A flat tire in the Death Valley.

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Thursday, 18th of April 2013 at 08:48:37 PM

Canyonlands 2013 day 3: towards Zion

I checked out from Flamingo at 5am and drove again to Car Rental station to check for my desired vacation car. I was lucky. During the night one Jeep GC came back. A beautiful white one with the big V8 engine. I immediately took the car and gave back the Kia.

old Kia in the front and new Jeep in the back

My plan today was to start the round trip to Zion-Escalante-Moab-Page-Las Vegas. First Stop was St. George, Utah. It took me app. 2 hours to drive from Las Vegas to the trailhead, which is accesible through a steep unpaved road.

driving up to Yant Flat Trailhead

The hike was a small 6 mile roundtrip, down to a plateau where lots of photgenic sandstone should be present. It was an ideal hike to start and forget the flat tire desaster. I departed at 10 am and returned 2.30 pm.

Yant Flat plateau

wild flowers at yant flat

In the afternoon I drove to Zion N.P. My Anual Park Pass from 2012 was still valid and I selected a small hike which I did not knew yet, the Hidden Canyon Trail. Another 6 mile roundtrip.

beginning section of Zion’s hidden canyon trail with view to Observation Point

I found  a Hotel in close city of Hurricane, UT where I arrived at 9pm.


Hiking Mileage today:   19.2 km / 12 miles

Yant Flat (9.6 km) Hidden Canyon (9.6 km)

Hiking Mileage total:    25.2 km / 15.8 miles

curious incidents today: Unexpectadly I still got my desired vacation Rental: Jeep Grand Cherokee, but also the

  • V8 Engine 5.7l
  • QudratracII + Selec-Terrain: Mud,rock snow
  • full leather sports seats
  • ventilated seats
  • sunroof
  • parkview rear-back camera
  • electronic adjustable steering wheel
  • Bluetooth Audio to my iphone5

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Thursday, 18th of April 2013 at 08:52:39 PM

Canyonlands 2013 day 4: White Domes (Canaan Mountains)

My plan today was a strenous hike up to the White Domes on the Canaan Mountains. I had seen a foto of those brilliant white Domes and immediately wanted to see that in real. The hike was very exhausting. 3h cimbing uo to the peak, a total of 11 miles. The first part of the hike was along the Water Canyon. Then began the strenous part up a steep trail leading to Top Rock. From there it was another 1 1/2 mile to the White Domes.

arriving at White Domes peak

White Domes

driving Smithonian Butte Backway towards Zion

I started to the White domes at 7.50am and was back at the car at 2:30pm. The rest of the day was the transfer to my next base camp: Escalante, Utah. A 3h drive. I had plenty of time and decided to drive the Smithonian Butte Backway. It was in very good condition but not very photogenic. I took the chance to visit also the Ghost town of Grafton and the Grafton cemetary which are located at the north end of the Smithian Butte road.

view of Zion mountains

Then the long 3 h drive through Zion Mount Carmel Highway, US89N and passing Bryce Canyon, taking scenic byway US12 and arriving at 8pm in Escalante. Hungry  from the exhausting Whitedomes Hike I decided for Steak dinner at Circle D Eatery.


Hiking Mileage today:   16 km / 10 miles

Hiking Mileage total:    41.2 km / 25.8 miles

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