After enjoying the San Rafael Swell area I moved southward. In Utah you don’t have to travel far to find new adventures. My first stop was at the BLM office is Hanksville. It was enjoyable to talk with the man working the information desk when I arrived. He was a local that loved the land and suggested over a week’s works of activities. Such enthusiasm for the land is fun to experience and share.
A highlight for me was a visit to the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry. I knew no one would be working at the quarry, but the thought of seeing an actual dinosaur quarry was exciting. Off I went following the BLM directions – turn north onto Cow Dung Road about three miles west of Hanksville. The drive to the site was gorgeous.
Once at the quarry a lot of imagination was required. There was little evidence of digging and no signs explaining the site. After wandering around I was excited to see what might (or might not) be dinosaur bones.
I spent the next few days exploring the area including a day trip to Cathedral Valley. With rain in the forecast I was a bit leery about driving to the Cathedral Valley. However, the friendly BLM man eased my concerns by letting me know that I would be able to see rain coming in the distance and would have time to drive out before it arrived. This was so different than the limited-view forested western Washington I am use to.
A common way to drive the valley is in a loop that requires fording the Fremont River. I drove first to the Fremont River crossing to check it out. It looked like the water might be deep and I had no desire to wade into the cold water to determine the depth. And I saw that the crossing wasn’t simply a perpendicular crossing; one needed to drive in the river making it a S shape crossing. There was no evidence that anyone had crossed it recently. I decided I would not be the first to try it that day. The few people I met latter that day were all as chicken as I was to try the river crossing, so we all drove in and out on the same road.
My initial camp site was absolute lovely and located on the Fremont River. However with rain and snow projected I decided to move to more stable ground. I did not want to get shuck in muck and not be able to pull the trailer out. So I hitched up and moved to a place I had spied while touring about. Although it was located next to the main road a small hill kept the road mostly hidden and the road had little traffic. The view was gorgeous.
- There are a number of spaces to use as camping site with some of them directly adjacent to the Fremont River.
- Don’t plan on being the only one at this camping location. The site looks well used.
- The location is about .5 miles east of the Capital Reef welcome sign.