My dad's family went on a Burton Boys trip almost every year since I was little, usually camping in Southern Utah. There were a few years missed due to scheduling conflicts and/or illness, and then my grandpa passed away a year and a half ago and that hit everyone pretty hard. This year my dad decided that we needed to get the tradition going again and planned a trip.
I decided that the trip was not just for boys anymore and joined in, even though I was the only girl to do so. I'm pretty used to being around just boys - for some reason I end up being the only girl fairly often. Sadly a lot of people that were planning to go couldn't make it because of work and other conflicts, but we ended up with my dad, two uncles, my brother, Pat and me. It was great to get to spend some time with everyone, but especially my uncle who was visiting from New York. We don't get to see him very often anymore.
We went down by Hite Marina on Lake Powell. There is one dirt road that takes off of UT-95 between the Dirty Devil River and the Colorado River and heads North. We took that road and went about nine miles until we found a place to set up camp.
This first day we drove out to an overlook of the Maze area of Canyonlands National Park. It was a longer drive than we were expecting and took all day to drive there and back. I've never been in the Maze, but my dad has and even he didn't realize just how huge it was. Twisty, winding canyons went on for as far as the eye could see. It looked like a fantastic place to spend a week exploring with a pack on your back.
We took our group shot at the overlook. A pretty good-looking bunch if I do say so myself.
When we woke up on day two, it was pouring. We used most of our gas on the first day, so we decided to go get gas while it was raining anyway. On our way back to the main road it started raining even harder than it had been, and hailing too. There were rivers and streams popping up out of nowhere, and hundreds of waterfalls coming down the cliffs. Whole sections of road turned into riverbed, but luckily nothing we couldn't just drive through.
We didn't realize that Hite Marina (about 10 miles away) still had gas pumps open, so we ended up driving 50 miles back to Hanksville to fill up. It wasn't a total loss since we finally got to see some sunshine. On our way back to camp the rain had mostly tapered off, but we spotted this huge waterfall across the gorge from us.
And when we got back to camp there was a mini-waterfall just up the wash.
After lunch the sun came out, so we decided to take the opportunity to explore the ravine a ways below camp. It was pretty easy to find a path down, and once at the bottom it was a nice flat riverbed. There was still a small stream running through it from the morning's rain, so we stripped off our shoes and had some fun.
Just upstream a ways the stream was pouring over a giant boulder that had gotten wedged in a crack, so we turned around and headed downstream. It went for a mile or so when we suddenly came upon a 50 foot waterfall that went into an even deeper section of canyon. We turned around at that point and headed back to camp. The dogs make me nervous around cliffs like that.
The stream was so muddy from the runoff that is stained our feet red.
Luckily there was a smaller stream coming down a side canyon with mostly clear water so that we could wash off.
It started to rain on our hike back to camp, so we got some rain protection set up as fast as we could, and got dinner going. We spent a lot of time wearing ponchos and lots of layers of clothing.
On our third and last full day we decided to go for a hike on the Sundance Trail. We had to drive a little way to get to the trailhead since it was on the other side of the Colorado. The trail is pretty easy for the first couple of miles, then it turns straight down a canyon wall to reach the bottom of the canyon. You basically had to scramble over boulders the entire way down. It dropped 1100 feet in a mile. There was no possible way the dogs could do that section, so we let my dad and brother continue on (my uncles had gone on a drive to another destination) and we turned back.
Once back we used our couple of free hours to drive further out of the road and see what we could see. The answer? Not much, but it did get higher in altitude and more forested. Still very pretty scenery. We got back to the trailhead to wait for the boys to return, and not three minutes later they reach the top of the trail. Perfect timing!
Even though it was very rainy and not as warm as we were hoping for, we still had a fantastic time. I can't wait to get out and do more camping this summer.