My friend Chris broke his leg in July, and managed to crawl to his vehicle and drive, left-footed, out of the Uintas until he got cell service to call for help. As soon as he was off crutches more than two months later, he was itching to get out for a camping trip. We planned a trip that would take us to the Wedge Overlook, Nine Mile Canyon, the Sand Wash landing strip, and finally over Bruin Point and back to Price. Centering this trip around Nine Mile was a great choice because there’s a lot to see there very close to the road–perfect for a gimpy, outdoorsy guy. We met at my house and then took my Jeep south into the San Rafael Swell. There were still plenty of camp spots available at the Wedge Overlook so we chose the best one and settled in for a relaxing evening. This is one of my favorite places to watch the sunset, even though it wasn’t particularly spectacular this time. Still, I was thoroughly enjoying this, which was only my second time camping at the overlook.
We woke up in time to watch the sunrise, and then packed up camp and headed to Nine Mile Canyon, making a couple of stops near upper Buckhorn Wash and the old townsite of Victor. In Nine Mile Canyon, we stopped at several sites that Chris hadn’t been to, including First Site, Coyote Placing the Stars, the Owl Panel, the Family Panel, and Pregnant Buffalo. I was surprised at that last site that the vandalism that occurred in 2014 hadn’t been fixed, even though the family of the accused kid agreed to pay $1,500 to restore it. I wonder what the BLM did with that money?
After spending much of the day in Nine Mile Canyon, we drove toward the Sand Wash landing strip and camped at a spot overlooking Sand Wash. We enjoyed some beer and a so-so sunset. The next morning’s sunrise was amazing, and seemed to last a long time. After the show was over we packed up our gear. While doing so, a plane landed at the airstrip and dropped off a passenger who we talked to briefly. He was hiking down to Sand Wash to start a river trip through Desolation Canyon. Before we left, Chris and I hiked a short distance down the trail toward Sand Wash and Chris placed a geocache.
We passed back through Nine Mile Canyon, with a stop at Daddy Canyon. I hadn’t been there for a long time, and we spent quite a bit of time exploring the rock art there. Next we drove up Cottonwood Canyon toward Bruin Point. Near Twin Hollow we came across a Ford F-150 that had been badly wrecked, but nobody was around. A little farther up the road at a landing strip we spotted some wild horses. We saw a few stands of aspen that were still clinging on to their yellow leaves, but at Bruin Point the colors visible in Water Canyon were still very vibrant. We descended toward East Carbon/Sunnyside and then drove back to Price, ending a mellow yet still fun weekend.
Photo Gallery: Wedge Overlook to Nine Mile Canyon