Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hike 2015.075A -- Kolob Terrace Road, above Cedar City, UT

Hiked Saturday, October 10. By itself, this bit of photo wouldn't normally be considered a hike. But it was largely the reason for my Columbus Day weekend trip to southern Utah and southern Nevada. On Friday, October 9, I got a moderately early start, and took a couple of short hikes in Cedar Breaks National Monument. Haven't blogged those, yet.
That night, I spent it in a motel room in Cedar City (just 1/2 hour or so from Cedar Breaks National Monument. The next day (Saturday, October 10) was to be spent in southern Utah, then I'd drive down to Las Vegas that evening.
I wasn't sure what I'd be doing on that Saturday. I had several possible hikes in mind before I drove there, and got additional ideas as I thumbed through the newsletter and map I picked up from the ranger at the fee station at Cedar Breaks, and other material I read in the motel room on Friday night.
Even as I drove off from the motel room on Saturday morning, I still wasn't sure what I would do. But as I headed up Cedar Canyon and came to the turnoff for Kolob Terrace Road, I decided that this would be my first bit of the day.

I had read that this road could be scenic in the fall. Also, the previous afternoon, from the Zion Overlook of UT-14, I saw many golden mountain tops where aspen were blooming in profusion. So I decided to drive some distance (not being sure as I turned how far that would be) on this road.
I wasn't even sure how far the pavement would go, although I did know it was paved at least a bit, having hiked to this road on the "C" Trail and driven to that same spot to observe the annular solar eclipse in 2012.

But I did not know how far the pavement went, and how photogenic these trees might be. The second question was answered first: It was VERY photogenic up here. Almost as soon as the road began heading east, (having climbed steeply to get there), I was surrounded by the shimmering gold of quaking aspen.
I pulled off the road and began taking pictures. LOTS of pictures. Jaw-dropping beauty. Then I got back in my car, and drove only a few hundred yards further before stopping again. Just amazing. Then again, a few hundred yards after that.
Then the road made a curve and a fork, and the pavement ended. On either side of the very well-graded dirt road, was a substantial drop, to allow rain water to collect and flow. But this place was also amazing. So I drove back to where a large trashbin was located and parked there. Then I walked about 1/4 mile or so along this road, taking photos, yet a gain. Could not get over the sight of these leaves.
After what undoubtedly was several hours of driving maybe 1 of a mile of scenic, aspen-lined road, stopping many times, then walking along the road and shooting some more, I finally decided to get on to Cedar Breaks.
Back on Highway 14, I pulled over several times and again took many pictures. From the Zion Overlook, more pictures, of both the canyon and the aspen on the rims of the canyon

I took several hikes on that weekend, both before and after this drive, but I still need to blog those. I'm up to 76 for the year, so far. Still on track for a shot at 100 for the year. Just wanted to share some fall color with you all, first.

No comments:

Post a Comment