Horse Canyon

Winching a branch out of the wayThe rainy weather put a damper on my 4-day weekend this week, but I did get out to Horse Canyon yesterday for a short but fun excursion. My plan was to check out a short slot canyon in the North Fork of Horse Canyon that I heard about on Bogley, then ride through Little Horse Canyon to the Range Creek gate and hopefully check out some fall colors. I left Price around noon and soon after I was already on my ATV and starting up the canyon from the old Geneva Mine. I turned off what appeared to be an old mining road leading up the North Fork of Horse Canyon, though I wasn’t sure how far I would be able to ride before having to get off and hike. I got a quarter of a mile down the road, just after it joined the canyon bottom, and came across a fallen cottonwood branch that I couldn’t ride around, so I winched it out of the way and continued on. After another third of a mile, the road climbed out of the canyon to the west. I parked the ATV under a tree there and hiked the remaining half-mile to the start of the slot canyon.
North Fork of Horse CanyonThe hike to the slot was a fairly easy stroll along a flat canyon bottom. The canyon then narrowed up, and shortly after the sandstone walls closed up, there was a dryfall that was easily scrambled up. I had to help Torrey up one section that she didn’t want to try jumping up, but on the way back down she easily jumped down it. Above the dryfall, the canyon was still narrowish, but soon widened up after another easily scrambled bouldery section. It was a short but unique narrow section not often seen in the Book Cliffs. I returned to the ATV and rode back to the main road and started the climb up the South Fork of Horse Canyon with the intention of riding to Range Creek.
Snow-covered switchback in the roadThe road had been pretty dry before then, but it soon got really muddy. I shifted into 4WD, and as I climbed higher, the mud turned into a strange, cold, white mud. 😀 I got to the divide between Horse Canyon and Little Horse Canyon, and it was snowing there. The clouds to the east over Little Horse Canyon and Range Creek were very dark, and there were no bright fall colors visible in the trees and shrubs in the canyon below, so I decided not to continue riding to Range Creek. I descended the road and left the snow and eventually the mud behind. I got back to where the truck was parked and things were once again dry and there was blue sky overhead. It was nice to visit the winter weather, but even more nice to be able to leave it behind.

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GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Earth .KMZ Format)

GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Maps)

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