Day 4: Roadwalking and Talking

Monday April 24, 19.2mi/30.9km

Ledge A Campground (35.0/4140ft) to Due west of Canyonlands Overlook (53.0/4390ft) (UT) +1.2mi water

I was awake at 6:30 and saw one of the coolest sunrises. The tops of the cliffs were shadowed by cloud, with the middle part illuminated by the rising sun.

Most of today was roadwalking on 4wd roads. I started walking at 7 a.m. and within a mile I had my first obstacle. These remote dirt roads don’t have bridges you just drive directly through the creeks, which are dry most of the year. But not today!

I skirted around one of the edges and kept my feet dry. The middle part must be deeper than I thought since there was a small graveyard to lost front license plates.

I hiked another hour and a half, passing a few junctions and getting views along the way.

I took a break at the top of Hurrah Pass, which had views in all directions.

I met a mountain biker named Jake, he just rode some cool 3 day loop in this area. And I met 3 guys in jeeps, they were just finishing a trip, and offered me their extra water.

It was fun to meet so many adventure-minded people in such a random place. The view to the northwest from the pass looked like the horizon was curved. Its not just the photo!

I hiked down the pass for about an hour, and came to this place in the middle of nowhere.

I think this is where many of the vehicles were heading, since after this point I saw much fewer jeep traffic. The roadwalking was nice and peaceful.

I stopped for lunch under the shade of one of the only trees I had seen all day. From this point I could also access the Colorado River so I strolled over to refill some of my water. It was a nasty silty brown, and smelled strangely, so I double filtered it.

After lunch I hit a junction where I turned left, and pretty much all the remaining ATV and Jeep traffic turned right. It was a narrow steep wash.

There must have been water in here at some point, I saw a bunch of wildflowers including this paintbrush.

Not all traffic had turned right at the junction. This poor Jeep was stuck, high-centered on some rocks. I offered to help but there wasn’t much I could do.

The rough dirt road climbed higher and gained the top of a shelf, which it followed all afternoon.

Eventually by 2pm it had become too hot to hike, so I hid in the shade of some rocks and had a nap.

It was a nice relaxing afternoon of quiet roadwalking, which basically feels like a wide trail. At the top of this little pass I met another mountain biker on a 3 day loop, and he was debating whether to go back for water or go forward to the next (potentially dry) water source.

We talked for half an hour at that little pass, I think it was a tough decision for him to turn around…. but always better to play it safe and not run out of water in the desert. I continued onward for another 30 minutes before I stopped to setup camp. It was only 5pm, but I had already done 19 miles, and I don’t want to push hard early on and then get injured. I had a very interesting sunset, which was partially obscured by a wave of thunderclouds moving through.

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