27th March 2012



After yesterday's exploration of the wash below the Eagle Cliffs I decided it would be interesting to try and get up on top of the cliffs. A careful look at Google Earth suggested that there might be an access route at the north end of the mesa but it wasn't obvious. So today we headed out for a scouting trip to see what the north end looked like, we got a bit of a late start but that turned out to be a good thing.
It's several miles up the Great Western Trail to the north end of the mesa and by the time we got there it was well past Biff's dinner time. Knowing it would be I brought his dinner with us, he seemed a little confused about eating before we walked but decided he might as well.
There were some low clouds passing over as we started up the steep climb from the road to the mesa top, it actually looked like it might rain though it was still above 60F so I wasn't too concerned about being out there. I had my emergency plastic poncho - it's been in various backpacks for about 20 years now!
I took a few pictures as we walked down the eastern edge of the mesa but the clouds made them dull and on the way back the sun lit up the cliffs so I'll just use those. We went about a mile down the eastern edge before crossing over to the western side, a bit less than half way down the whole thing. Apart from the views the top is a fairly uniform patchwork of juniper and not particularly interesting.

When the sun came out just above the western cliffs the views to the east really lit up.
(This picture is probably too wide for most screens, scroll right to see the rest of it)
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© Bob Palin 2012
 

 

Beyond the mesas other features of Capitol Reef were illuminated.
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© Bob Palin 2012
 

 

The Henry Mountains floated dimly in the background.
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© Bob Palin 2012
 

 

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© Bob Palin 2012
 

 

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© Bob Palin 2012
 

 

After the light show it was time to to descend back to the truck, it sure looks a long way down there.
The elevation on the mesa top is 8400 feet, descending gradually to 8000 ft at the south end.
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© Bob Palin 2012
 

 

Biff waited patiently (mostly) for me to fuss around with the cameras.
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© Bob Palin 2012
 

 

Topo of the area, the names in blue are my personal names for the features where I can't find an official name.
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© Bob Palin 2012
 

 

It was almost dark when we got off the mountain, we will have to allow a bit more time to walk all the way to the far end of the mesa.

 

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