Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The other end of a canyon

A few weeks ago, I had hiked up a canyon near Hewitt Canyon Road. It got too rocky for me before I got to the other end. I decided to see how far I could get when starting from the other end of the canyon. Of course, I would have to do some climbing to get to that end of the canyon. I started out going up a wash that went around the southwest side of Byous Butte.

In the wash. It's kind of rough and there's lots of plants on the sides.

I checked out the terrain carefully on Google Earth before I left the house, so I had a pretty good idea of my intended route. From inside a wash, though, it can be difficult to know if you are where you think you are. I waited until I thought I was in the right place before leaving the wash and as I suspected it would be, it was quite a struggle to get out of there. Lots of dense vegetation, and some of it grabs you.

There's a nice view of Apache Leap on the way up.

I came across an old ATV trail shortly after leaving the wash. It looked like there probably hadn't been any traffic on it for at least a year. It was much easier walking there so I followed it for as far as I could.

Old ATV trail. Hopefully, it won't be used any more.

Looking at this, I thought I was almost at the ridge that separated the two drainages. Turns out I had a lot more climbing to do.

By the time I got to the ridge at the end of the canyon, I was too tired to go into it. It didn't look very interesting from this end, anyway. I decided to take a chance and take a different route back. I could tell that if I had to do any back-tracking, it wouldn't be for very far.

The target canyon.

I followed a ridge out to a pointy hill. The sides were almost uncomfortably steep. Almost. It looked like it got steeper toward the bottom in the direction I wanted to go. I couldn't remember seeing anything like that on the way up, though. Also, nearby hills weren't dangerously steep, so I started down.

Side view of the hill I would be descending. Doesn't look bad from here.

The shadow of the hill I'll be descending. I thought this looked cool. I've read the near sunset, the shadows of all large mountains look sort of like this, no matter what the actual shape of the mountain is. I'm not on a large mountain, though, and it's still a while until sunset. It's really shaped like this.

I spotted another old ATV trail as I descended and followed it along the desert floor. Walking was pretty easy until I had to cross the wash. If there are even any deer, sheep, or cow trails through all that vegetation, they must be few and far between.

The sun was at a better angle for pictures of Byous Butte by the time I got back to the truck.

Click below to see all of the pictures.


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