Back Roads & Arching Vistas

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Our final few days were spent at the Arch Canyon Jeep Jamboree with Mark A. Smith.

We were very excited about the opportunity to meet Mark and attend this event. We enjoyed meeting new people at the welcoming dinner on Thursday evening at the Lamplight restaurant in Monticello. Thanks to the Ute tribe, we were allowed to camp at the mouth of Arch Canyon with the west side of the Comb Ridge looming above us. Friday morning was cold and clear, but we were eager begin our trail ride up Arch Canyon (rated 3). While our group chose the easier route on Friday, the other group would head up to Hotel Rock (rated 9), a trip we would be taking the next day. Arch Canyon was beyond spectacular, with 1000 ft canyon walls to either side, about 50 stream crossings, and ancient cliff dwellings dotting the route. After about eight miles and lots of dust, we arrived at our lunch spot where a short hike was rewarded by views of a natural arch. The evening entertainment included live music, dancing and stories by local Ute tribe members.

Our Saturday ride would take us to Hotel Rock. The Hotel Rock trail is the exact opposite of the Arch Canyon trail. While the Arch Canyon trail is a level three jaunt down a canyon, Hotel Rock is a level nine technical endeavor that required close supervision and directions from our trail guides. Several of us “stockers” had expressed some concern about the difficulty rating, but our trip coordinator and guide, Chris Timms had assured us that if we followed the expert guides to the letter, he would guarantee we would not only make it to Hotel Rock, but we would make it with little or no damage. A special thanks to our outstanding guides, who did just as promised , making sure that everyone made it back to camp without a scratch. Afterward, A steak dinner culminated the evening and we relaxed around the campfire listening to stories of the day.

Southeastern Utah is definitely an adventurer’s destination. The recreational possibilities are endless and having the Jeep made our experience extremely enjoyable. The Jeep allow us to explore places that other vehicles just can’t get to and we took full advantage of its capabilities to fully enjoy the area. So, take your Jeep, tent, and backpack, and head to southeastern Utah to discover one of the best kept secrets of the adventure lifestyle.

Related – Road Trip Colorado

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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