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Southwest trip 2011, petroglyphs and beautiful scenery.

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May 6th, 2011, 11:12 AM
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Southwest trip 2011, petroglyphs and beautiful scenery.

We’ve enjoyed several trips to the four corners area and planned our trip with the idea of visiting some places we hadn’t been to and revisiting some places we’ve enjoyed in the past. The original plan was to spend a couple of days with friends from CA, but they couldn’t join us in the end. We always visit several Native American rock art sites and did so again this trip. Our food was mostly not fancy and we usually had sandwiches on the fly for lunch and ate in the places close to lodging for breakfast and dinner. I’m posting some pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/emalloy2009/sets in the 2011 set.

Day1: Fly to Vegas on Southwest, nonstop. Paid the extra $10/pp to get the good boarding pass. Did get A 54 and 55, but don’t know if it would have been as good by getting on line early.

Picked up our Jeep and checked into the Luxor. Our room was just ok, but we were heading out in the morning so it was just for sleeping. Hit a buffet then took the long hike up the strip to see the fountain show at Bellagio, then back to bed.

Day 2: Up early, quick breakfast in the hotel, check out and head for Utah.

First stop Parowan Gap to see/photograph some petroglyphs. They were very nice, and right on rocks next to Gap road.

Our plan was to go from Parowan on 143 then down 148 to stop at Cedar Breaks National Monument. The drive on 143 is beautiful, if curvy and mountainous, and when we got to 148 there was about 8 feet of snow on the road and a road closed sign. So we continued on 143 to Panguich which was a beautiful ride, and then down 89 to 12 into Bryce.

We drove through Bryce with stops at the pull outs and a short hike at the end then headed to Tropic for the night.

Day 3: Still on eastern time, so up early for the drive down 12 to Capitol Reef. There was construction on the road down into CR, but we went anyway, enjoyed some lovely views, but did not hike this time.

We stopped to photograph some petroglyphs from the Freemont Culture just past CR on 12. Then we drove down 12, beautiful all along the way, but not for the faint of heart as it is narrow, curvy hilly, no guardrails most of the way. Worth the tension for the scenery though. From there it was 24 to 70 to 191 down to Moab.

We were just early enough to get to Arches NP for a hike to landscape arch with some daylight. We had not been to it in previous visits, so out we went.

Then it was to the motel and bed.

More to come
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May 6th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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From your pictures you visited all my favorite places but you hit two rock art places that I haven't been to and now want to go see! Parowan Gap & Grapevine Canyon!

Utahtea
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May 6th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Oh..forgot to ask, when were you in Bryce? We were the on April 15 as part of a 6 day trip to Zion and the snow levels in your pictures look to be around the same time.

Utahtea
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May 6th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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Day 4: We headed south in the morning on 191 to 163 near Bluff and continued on to Monument Valley for a quick stop. We’ve been there a couple of times before so it was just to look again and use the facilities in the VC.

We turned west on 160 at Kayenta and about 20 miles down the road turned onto the road for Navajo National Monument. Here we hiked out the overlook to Betatakin, a nice ruin in the Mesa Verde style. We had picked up sandwiches for lunch and sat and ate them here.

Back on 160 towards Tuba City then south on 89 to Cameron.

Thanks to the Fodorites who suggested the Cameron Trading Post and Lodge as a good place to stay. We checked in and then headed 30 miles up to Grand Canyon, stopping at a few of the beautiful overlooks available before sunset. Then back to Cameron for the night with supper at the lodge.

Day 5: Back to Grand Canyon with a stop at Lipan point, which we had seen the day before and noticed that there were good views of the rapids on the river from there. We got to see several boats go over the rapids through our binoculars, no one tipped over while we watched.

We continued on towards GCVillage, stopping at the fantastic spots and found a parking place over by Maswick Lodge. We headed for the rim and hiked down Bright Angel Trail for about a half hour. DH was leery about going close to the edge, but I told him about petroglyphs I had seen when I went down before. Of course I couldn’t see them on the way down, but did on the way back up. They are fairly high on the wall, just down hill a bit from the tunnel. Thank goodness I was able to spot them again.

Our friends, who were supposed to meet us that evening in Laughlin called to say they couldn’t make it. Since we had reservations for two nights there ($55 total for two nights at the Golden Nuggett) we decided to head there anyway.

DH hadn’t had enough twisty, no guardrail roads, so he decided we shoud pick up old rt 66
just beyond Kingman and go through Oatman to get to Laughlin. Oatman was just winding up a gala motorcycle event and was quite “active” so we just did the walk through town and went on to Laughlin.

We checked into the Golden Nuggett and had dinner at the Saltgrass Steakhouse in the hotel. The meal was fine and service was good. Then off to bed.

Day 6: We had a day to just relax and not do much so had the $1.99 special for 6 to 8 in the hotel casual resturaunt called Harlow’s, 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, 2 sausage patties, and 2 pancakes. The coffee was $1.99 too, I’m a cheap date in the morning.

We did a morning walk for a couple of hours along the river, stopping at a casino here and there then relaxed and read our books until time for an afternoon walk along the river. Dinner was the $9.99 prime rib (form 6 to 8) at Saltgrass and a glass of wine, hit the spot. A little time at the penny slots ($10 free play for signing up for a comp card) when we broke even we went to bed.

Day 7ack for the bargain breakfast at Harlows and on the road again.

We headed towards Vegas via 163. A few miles out of Laughlin is the road to Grapevine Canyon where there are hundreds of petroglyphs. The sign on 163 says Christmas Tree Pass, but as soon as you pull off there is a sign for the petroglyphs. They are about 2 miles down the road which is gravel, but passable in a regular car and there is a parking area with toilets where you get to the wash that leads to the site. It is a short hike, maybe a third of a mile up to the petroglyphs. There has always been a little water close to the petroglyphs, but the wash has been dry when we have visited here.

Next was a trip up 95 to Bullhead City where we headed along the west side of lake Meade up to the east entrance to Valley of Fire. Here we hiked the petroglyph trail to Mouse’s Tank and drove out to panoramic point. and stopped at atl atl rock for more petroglyphs. Then back to Vegas.

Day 8: Grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel, turned in the rental car and flew home. I didn’t think to get a boarding pass at the hotel, but got B 3 and 4 anyway, so we were able to get seats together and there was room in the overhead for our carry ons, so life is good.


Utahtea, Thanks, and do go to see them. Some of the ones at Parowan were more deeply incised than I had seen before. We were at Bryce on the 27th I think and it was brisk and windy but not actually snowing so it was all fine.
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May 6th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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emalloy,

Thanks for the trip report. I love the old route 66 between Kingman and Oatman. This section is what I remember Route 66 to be like when I was a kid! I can't wait to go see the rock art!

Utahtea
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May 6th, 2011, 04:42 PM
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Utahtea,

If you like rock art, north of I-70 a few miles east of 191 is Sego Canyon aka Thompson Springs where there are pictographs too, just get off 70 at Thompson Springs and head north, it is about a mile or two up the road. Also Dinosaur NP has some very nice ones if you go in on the Utah side, both on the main road in and also in the McKee Spring area a little north of the main area.
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May 7th, 2011, 05:22 AM
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We were at Bryce on April 27, just a bit later but plenty of snow although the roads were fine and the paved paths we went on were too.
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