Buckhorn Draw: San Rafael Swell, Utah

Started Oct 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
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UtahManSir Veteran Member • Posts: 4,658
Buckhorn Draw: San Rafael Swell, Utah

Took my youngest (7 years old) to do some easy and fun slot canyons, because she has been BEGGING to go, and I really want her to be my camping buddy. My wife won't let me go alone, and taking her counts as not being alone.

So... I decided to drive a road I have not been down in 18 years or so, the Buckhorn Draw Road. A VERY well maintained dirt road that penetrates the very heart of the San Rafael Swell. Which just happens to be one of my most favorite parts of Utah. The first scenic spot on this road just before you drop off the plateau and into the wash is the Wedge Scenic Overlook. Which allows you to see the Western edge of the geologic feature called the wedge and allows you to look down into the area known as the "Little Grand Canyon". It was late morning, nearly noon when we got there, we were facing south into the sun, so I held out few hopes of getting much. What I did get was enough to whet my appetite to a fine sharp edge. I want to go back and do sunset/sunrise while camped there. If the light and clouds are right.... oh wow it could be breathtaking!

So without further ado, here are a couple of my favorite non-overcooked shots (Yeah I did a few HDR's too that are striking, but not really reflective of reality. I like them though, just not enough to show them here.)

The Wedge is the formation in the center, just behind the lighter foreground rock. There is a trail that goes out on it as well, but I had a 7 year old to entertain, that was asking if we were "there" yet. Buckhorn Wash is the valley stretching out into the distance.

This vantage point is just beyond the rocks on the left of the first photo. The breathtaking vantage point really made we a little vertiginous, and I have absolutely no fear of being close to the edge of cliffs. Just ask my wife...

Zooming with your feet not being an option, a longer focal length helps one to see more detail of the long wash coming up.

A Cottonwood Tree just beginning to turn gives me all the more reason to return soon.

If you ever are driving though Utah on Interstate 70, this road is well worth your time, in good weather any car can drive it, the road is superbly maintained.


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