Mars on Earth

Moqui marbles

How Utah's Fantastical Moqui Marbles Formed

Great article on Canyonlands geology by Becky Oskin.

The Fun Scale

Have you been out in the backcountry and heard guides refer to the fun scale? Well here it is just in case you were curious. It’s not always a good thing, but sometimes it is.

Type I Fun –This is the purest form of people having fun during an activity, simple instant gratification where you enjoy the moment. Good food, 5.8 hand cracks, powder skiing, good sex, afternoon hiking, mellow whitewater, and margaritas. You’re bummed when it’s over, but you’d be hard-pressed to remember more than a few specific details.

Type II Fun –Retrospective fun you can look back on and think "hey, that was a good time now that it’s over". Normal people don’t set out to find type II fun, it just happens. Usually it begins with the best intentions before things get carried away into a miserable hateful experience that becomes legendary. Hanging belays in the dark, that time you almost drowned inside your tent. Getting lost, cold, hungry, wet, scared, and coming out on top; that’s the sort of experience that stick with us. Think of the hangover that makes you swear you’ll never drink again.The sneaky thing about type II fun is as time passes you start to remember it as being fun. That is dangerous, as you tend to repeat the same activities that were not fun at the time. First you’re saying “I want my mom so bad right now” and next week you’re like “You know, that wasn’t so bad, what should we try next time?”

Type III Fun –An activity that was never fun and usually involves conditions so horrific that you think, “What in the hell was I doing? If I ever come up with another idea that stupid, somebody slap some sense into me.” The phrase “don’t die, don’t die, don’t die…” is usually running through the mind of someone experiencing type III fun. Anything that ends with you eating your own shoes, or featuring prominently in a non-fiction bestseller likely classifies as type III.

On this highly scientific spectrum, a lot depends on your sense of adventure and pain tolerance. The most memorable experiences and the stories that are shared around the campfire for years to come are born of the rosy reflections afforded us by the passage of time. The important thing is that we’re out there looking for fun.   
Into which category a given experience falls, of course, is highly subjective  I guess you never really know what sort of fun you’re getting yourself into once you leave the couch. After all, as alpinists and mothers both know: It doesn’t have to be “fun” to be fun.

January Fun

Pictures were taken in Arches National Park, and the Needles District of Canyonlands National park.

After the snow it’s into the fire

Turret Arch through the North Window Arches National Park tour

Arches National Park is my favorite park to visit in January. Peace, solitude, contemplation, truly a wonderful opportunity so near my front door. Most of the year I spend my time in the backcountry of Canyonlands, but for a few fortuitous months I become the visitor in my own town.
I started at the Windows section; a landscape differed dramatically in winter wonderland. I approached the North Window under the moonset not expecting to have the entire area to myself. Even in the dead of winter this is the simplest best to place to see the sunrise. The view behind me showed a quiet cold awaiting light to warm winters chill. The purple shadows gave way to the fiery glow of canyon country as the sun climbed above the La Sal Mountains. I will not soon forget the world awakening for me behind the spectacles.
My serenity was broken by awe struck hikers well after the ravens first resonant kaw. Time to go it alone I headed for the Fiery Furnace. Warned of possible icy conditions I packed my micro spikes and left my expectations of completing the loop behind. The route is currently in good condition free from snow and ice, but that can change quickly this time of year. With no marked trails I wandered cathedral halls of domes and spires with a peaceful mind. The hike through the Fiery Furnace is an experience not to be miss out on. Guided Interpretive hikes through the Fiery Furnace are available year round.

Canyonlands Spring-break

Standing Rock Camp Maze district Canyonlands National Park

Book your trips now to ensure the best itineraries this spring. It’s that time of the year when families are getting together and talking about the next big adventure.  At least they must be as dates are filling fast for multi-day trips into Canyonlands National Park. To hold your reservations give us a call to make a deposit on your trip, or book online and receive a 10% discount on multi-day trips if you pay in full by Christmas.
Use coupon code: Canyonlands spring break
Valid on these trips:
White Rim Trail 3 day Canyonlands Island in the Sky 4X4
Canyonlands Needles 3 day 4X4/Hiking
Maze campout 4X4/Hiking
Maze 4 day 4X4/Hiking
Maze & Cataract 5 day combo
Needles & Cataract 5 day combo
Westwater Canyon overnight
Cataract Canyon overnight
Cataract Canyon 3 day Row boat
Cataract Canyon 5 day Classic
Fisher Towers overnight

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