Here are some of our photos from the trip.
1) Our first hiking outing was to check out Hidden Valley just south of Moab. This trail has an immediate, steep climb out of the parking lot into the entrace to Hidden Valley and then continues with a steady but mellow climb all the way to a pass halfway up the valley. From there you can look north to where the meets the Moab Rim trail and down onto the Colorado River. Here Todd and Jake climb up to the final switchbacks from the parking area.
2) The super cold weather of the previous week and created amazing snow crystals. It was difficult to get a photo with a camera that didn't have manual focus but you can kind of see these 1/2" long crystals in this photo. There were wide fields of snow with these hairy ice crystals sticking up off them.
3) Todd and Jake the Hidden Valley pass looking north towards the Moab Rim trail.
4) The recent cold temperatures meant there was a lot of crusty snow on the ground but the sunshine made for warm hiking weather.
5) Blues skies and red rock. When everything falls into place winter hiking in Moab is perfect!
6) Jonna back down at the parking lot with the trail's steep climb behind her.
7) Before hiking on Sunday we went on a scenic drive along Potash Road (UT-279). We stopped at two different spots along the road to check out the petroglyphs at one site and the petrified dinosaur tracks. Very cool sights and easy roadside attractions.
8) We climbed up onto the cliffside to get a good view but were very careful not to touch or mar the rock. Even Jake wanted a close look.
9) Jonna wanted to relax Sunday afternoon so Todd and I headed out to do a second hike. We chose the Negro Bill Canyon hike out to Morning Glory Arch. It was cooler down in shade of the canyon which meant heavy jackets were needed.
10) The trail criss-crosses a little stream that was flowing even mid-winter. There was ice in the bends of the little stream which made of pretty glass-like shapes with fresh (cold!) water flowing underneath.
11) There were also plenty of icicles hanging down whereever there were seeps on the cliff walls. We made sure not to spend much time underneath!
12) The further up the canyon we hiked the higher in elevation we climbed and closer to the warmth of sunlight we got.
13) At the point where the side canyon to the Morning Glory Arch connected with Negro Bill Canyon it widened out so you could get a more expansive view of the landscape.
14) For some strange reason Todd wasn't willing to jump into the water no matter how much I argued that it would make a great photo...
15) In one turn of the Morning Glory Arch canyon there was a wall of ice. We found a ledge so we could climb up behind the icicles and look through the ice like a curtain. Neat!
16) The final section of the trail leading to the Morning Glory Arch contains a mini-canyon down the middle where the stream has carved a small slot canyon into the floor of the wider canyon.
17) The Morning Glory Arch is massive. It isn't as spectacular as the free standing arches that are in the area but it is awe inspiring to see such a massive slab of rock towering overhead.
18) There is a small trickle of water coming out of the race of the cliff which is the headwaters of the little stream that trickles through the mini-slot canyon we hiked along on the way in.
19) An overhead panorama photo to try to show the size of the arch.
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