On Saturday the 5th of February, David and I headed back into the San Rafael Swell via the Moore cut-off road and then exiting I-70 freeway to take the Buckhorn Wash road northward. Before hitting the San Rafael River, we took the Oil Field Road westward and then took a jeep trail off of Oil Field Road to the top of Saddle Horse Canyon.

Saddle Horse Canyon

From the jeep trail you can see a class “C” arch in the cliffs to the north called Eclipse Arch.

Eclipse Arch

A jeep trail then leads into the drainage of Saddle Horse Canyon which we followed for 4.5 miles to a side canyon on our right heading east. An easy .75 mile walk up this drainage let us view Propped Up Arch, an interesting class ‘C’ arch, in the south cliffs. [Note: Saddle Horse Canyon has since been closed to all vehicle traffic.]

Back on the Oil Field Road, we decided to continue south to see if we could navigate Fix-it Pass down into South Coal Wash and perhaps a quicker way home. Not a good decision. The pass was really bad but we spent some time fixing up the worst places and proceeded to descend the pass in my Ford Explorer. David walked in front to guide my steering and fix any last minute trail problems. Somehow, we made it down but my Explorer would probably never be the same again. By then it was dark.

Once in South Coal Wash, the jeep trail westward was much easier to travel as we passed Slipper Arch (Swasey Arch?). On the way, we encountered a guy in a pickup truck heading the opposite direction. We stopped to talk to him since we couldn’t understand why anyone would be heading that direction at that time of the evening. He explained that he was turned around and was more than happy to follow us out of South Coal Wash, Coal Wash and finally back on dirt roads heading to Ferron Utah.

It was a nice day but we didn’t get any real hiking in. The most exercise we got was from moving rocks on Fix-it Pass. That was still enough to make me sore the next day.