Trip Leaders: Karl
Buckendahl (with Bill Priedhorsky as primary trip planner)
Los Alamos Mountaineers
Photo Gallery: Jan Studebaker, Click
HERE to view our
Valley of the Gods Gallery.
Priedhorsky had once again organized his annual winter day hiking trip to the
Bluff, Utah area to explore more of the beautiful desert canyons, Indian ruins, peaks,
towers, and ridges. Thirty eight intrepid Los Alamos Mountaineers joined
him, including me, for an assortment of day hikes.
for this day took about a dozen of us through Utah's mysterious and awesome
"Valley of the Gods," up Lime Canyon, and onto the mesa top for a view through
the "Window". Karl Buckendahl was today's trip leader, and had discovered
the "Window" some years ago. The day's hike was one of the most
beautiful hikes I have ever done!
road through Mexican Hat eventually joins US 191 which goes north to Monticello
and Moab, but before this it passes close to the Valley of the Gods. This is a
smaller scale version of Monument Valley, with huge isolated red sandstone rocks
standing above the level valley floor, remnants of some ancient landscape. The
area has a 17 mile dirt road (FR 242) that winds amongst the eerie formations;
it is very bumpy and steep in parts but should be passable by normal vehicles in
good weather. The western end joins UT 261 shortly before the ascent up Cedar
Mesa, while the eastern end starts 9 miles from town and heads north, initially
crossing flat, open land and following the course of Lime Creek, a seasonal
wash, before turning west towards the buttes and pinnacles.