My good friend and hiking buddy Chris was moving to Germany in January 2022 so we decided to go on one last road trip together, spending eight days and seven nights driving 1,870 miles through Utah, Nevada, and California. We left my house around noon on Thursday and headed toward southwestern Utah. We turned west in Cedar City and visited the Lion’s Mouth Cave pictographs before entering Nevada.
We’d planned on camping near Crystal Wash that night. It was raining when we arrived so we waited it out inside the Jeep, but with no cell service we got bored and decided to backtrack down Highway 93 to Pahroc Summit Pass. There we had cell service and a few trees for shelter. Chris brought his Dometic fridge and I brought groceries and a camp stove and fixed dinner each night. Tacos were on the menu for Friday and we made them under a tree with a light sprinkle coming down. The drizzle continued all night and we hunkered down in the Jeep and watched a movie, and just slept inside.
The sky was beginning to clear by morning. It was a short drive to Crystal Wash where we spent about an hour and a half hiking and searching out petroglyphs. I found the first of several mylar balloons of the trip while we were walking back to the Jeep.
Next we drove to the White River Narrows. There were a lot of petroglyphs and some of the panels were enormous. I just about got stuck in the mud and had to use 4WD to get out.
We headed south toward Mount Irish to see more rock art. It was higher in elevation than we’d been so far and there was snow on the ground. I used Google Maps to route us there and it initially took us on a nice graded dirt road. The road slowly petered out to almost nothing. I had the Jeep in 4-low and started wondering if we’d have to turn around, which I really didn’t want to do since we’d already been making slow progress and I didn’t want to repeat the route in reverse. We eventually made it to the main road that we should have been on in the first place. We only had time to see some of the rock art in the area, but we did find a couple of good panels. We didn’t really have a specific route planned, nor had I even attempted to plan out camp spots for the trip, because we didn’t really know where we’d end up each night. Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge wasn’t too far away and camping there is free, so we headed that direction. We got there after dark and found most of the spots full, but luckily there was one small but open spot where we could camp. There was a picnic table under a large tree where we made dinner, orange chicken with snow peas. We rang in the new year on Utah time and went to bed just after 11PM. It was still quite cold and we slept in the Jeep again that night.
Photo Gallery: Auf Wiedersehen Part 1