On Saturday I checked one thing off my long-term to-do list by finding a particular petroglyph in Nine Mile Canyon, and on Sunday I check off another. Twice I have fruitlessly searched for a small plane wreck in the Book Cliffs near Kenilworth. A few weeks ago its location was revealed to me when somebody placed a geocache at the wreck site. All that was left for me to do was hike up there, but I already had plans for hiking in the Spur Fork area so it had to wait until the second weekend after the geocache was placed. All that time I hoped nobody else would find it ’cause I wanted to get the prestigious (tongue-in-cheek) first-to-find. I checked with my brother-in-law, Mark, to see if he wanted in on the action. He had accompanied me on one of my previous hunts for the wreck and he was rearin’ to go on this one as well, as was my nephew, Chris.
It was a pretty uneventful hike. We had already done most of this route on a previous hike. It was very steep and rugged as we gained almost 1,000 feet of elevation from our parking spot in Cordingly Canyon to the top of the Book Cliffs. The geocache was near the largest piece of the wreckage, though that piece was surprisingly small. The rest of the fuselage, wings, and engine must have been hauled off. There were still a lot of small pieces scattered over a long, narrow area.
We continued south from the wreck to a point overlooking Kenilworth, and with views far out over Carbon County. We then reversed our route and descended back into Cordingly Canyon. The descent took relatively long due to the rough terrain. The total hike was only 2.1 miles, and we were gone from Price for about 3.5 hours. It felt great to finally visit the site after having wondered about it for years.
GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Earth .KMZ Format)
GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Maps)
2 thoughts on “Book Cliffs Plane Wreck”
I hiked up to that site with some friends in 1990 or 91. We found more of the fuselage and some of the wings than what I’m seeing in your shots. It was April, and there were still snowdrifts up there that were hip-deep, so more of the plane could have been under the snow. My dad was an EMT in Price, and was involved in the recovery of the two bodies. From what he said, it was a grisly task. I’ll have to see if I can find the photos from that hike. They’re probably in a box back home.
I’d love to see some photos from when there was more wreckage in place. I imagine that it would have been difficult hauling any of it off the mountain.