A Weekend in the Uintah Basin

Work will take you some interesting places.

We had need to get one of our NRS rafts repaired, and I’m talking some major work done. We had to take the raft to Herm Hoops in Jensen, Utah. I could write a novel about Herm and his life, but I’ll save that for later. Just know the man has had quite the life and will go down as one of the legends in river rafting history.

After we dropped off the raft at Mr. Hoops’ we had a weekend to kill in Vernal.

I have been going to Vernal for a long time. I was born there — we moved out when I was like 2 — and I have quite a bit of family who still live there: cousins, aunts, grandparents, uncles.

I thought I knew Vernal. Hunting, fishing, a bit of rafting, mostly just oil and natural gas were all that was there. At least that’s what I thought. I haven’t really been there since getting into rafting, climbing, canyoneering, biking, and so forth. I  knew the Uintas had a ton of backpacking from the tales my dad talked about growing up there.

I will be going back to the Uinta Basin several times this summer to explore and find some adventure.

Here’s a few things we did in this weekend with a 2-month old:

Strawberry Pinnacles (technically not really near Vernal, but we stopped on the way)

This was just a random place I turned off on the way to Vernal, but it was pretty amazing to simply drive down to.

Fantasy Canyon

This is such a cool place. Here’s a bunch of photos:

Ashley Creek Bouldering

Mountain Project has been around for awhile, but I’m fairly new to it; I don’t climb a lot. We went out and poked around in this area for a bit. There are some really good looking boulders and a few climbing spots out there.

Dinosaur National Monument

I think Dinosaur is a place that you could spend a lifetime trying to explore and never run out of things to see. I’ve spent a few visits to the Dino Quarry (also there is a place to eat in Vernal called the Quarry…pretty good!) and the Josie Ranch area. I thought that was it. Which those few places are amazing, but that barely scratches the surface.

We wanted to go up Harper’s Corner and see Steamboat Rock where the Yampa and Green Rivers come together, but the road was still closed.

Dinosaur is huge. I’m excited for the possibility of canyoneering, packrafting, rafting, climbing, and everything else.

Red Fleet State Park

We didn’t actually go here over the weekend, but there is great possibilities for some fun stuff. Mountain biking trails are growing. Hiking is pretty amazing. Climbing in this area is awesome.

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