It was finally warm enough and dry enough to do some hiking in the San Rafael Swell area. We like the Swell because, compared to the rest of Utah’s canyon country, the area is much closer and doesn’t require entrance fees. (Yet!)
Saturday morning, David and I loaded up his recently purchased Ford Explorer and headed south. I’m a bit of a control freak so I have to drive even when it isn’t my vehicle. (This makes taxi drivers nuts!)
On the Hanksville highway, we turned off to the west on the Goblin Valley State Park but instead of turning south to the park, we turned north and took the dirt trail that runs along much of the east side of this part of the Swell. At 3.8 miles, we stopped at the first chimney ruin (not the Garvin Chimney ruin) and began hiking.
We started by hiking .2 mile north up the wash until we could top a hill and begin hiking west up Old Woman Wash. Anyway we thought we were hiking up Old Woman Wash. It was a wash in the right area and it soon turned into a very impressive canyon just like we expected to find in Old Woman Wash. We didn’t even stop to check our location or we would of discovered that we were actually in an unnamed side canyon that runs almost westward between Old Woman Wash and Farnsworth Canyon. Old Woman Wash actually runs to the northwest.
However, this wash turned out to be just as impressive and we had an enjoyable hike exploring a new area.
When we figured out that we weren’t in Old Woman Wash, we took some time to explore a little to the north to find the actual Old Woman Wash. We will simply have to go back another time to explore the correct wash.
As we were leaving the bottom of the wash, a buck pronghorn antelope hassled us a bit from a short distance away. Apparently he figured that any old man hikers that couldn’t even figure out where they were, were no danger to him. (I was going to hurl my hearing aid at him but I was notified that the left turn signal on my walker was still blinking.)