|Jason at the Delicate Arch.|
|Petroglyphs on the way to the Delicate Arch.|
|Jason scrambling over a boulder.|
There were more people on the trail now as it was about 8am. Once we got past the Double O arch, however, we had the trail mostly to ourselves. There are a few lesser-known arches on the rest of the loop that we took side trails to see. The loop goes down into the fin canyons, which are fairly unique big thin pieces of rock that you have to walk between. The whole trail is a nice loop with little traffic on most of it and some unique landscape features. It is well worth doing.
CanyonlandsJason decided to start his drive home after lunch. They were calling for some bad weather in the Rockies and he was taking Interstate 70 through the Rockies and then on to Kansas. Jim and I planned to do the Syncline Loop Trail (about 9 miles) in Canyonlands, which was part of the 22 miles that we were originally supposed to do in Canyonlands on Friday before the unexpected rest day on Wednesday after the Zion adventure.
|Climbing through one of the fin canyons.|
|Jason falling through part of the Double O arch.|
The trail, if you go in a clockwise direction, is very rocky at the start and soon you get a sweeping view down into the deep canyon. I could see the trail way down below and was thinking twice about the decision to go on but it was just too cool so we plunged down the trail. We moved quickly, although progress was somewhat slow because of all of the rocks and twists in the trail. We eventually made it down onto the canyon floor and ran more easily here. The trail basically followed a wash and was gently downhill and not as rocky as the descent.
We soon got to the camping area where there is a trail that goes up into the Upheaval Dome. We looked at the skies and decided we didn't want to put in the extra 3 miles out-and-back so we continued on. Now the trail started climbing and we tried to figure out where we were going to get out of the canyon. As always happened this week, we could not figure out where the trail went. We thought it had to cut back but it just went straight up what looked like an unclimbable wall. Somehow we got through it but it took a lot of scrambling over boulders. The trail then continued up and up, through wash after wash.
|The climb out of the canyon on the Syncline Loop Trail.|
This was the end of about 90 miles over 3 days of running and over 105 for the week for me. Other than a quad strain that I got slipping in the mud while being rescued out of Zion, I felt pretty good. It was a fun week, full of gorgeous landscapes and unfortunately unpredictable weather.
|Syncline Loop Trail.|
|Where does the trail go?|
|Overlooking the Upheaval Dome.|