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Monday, May 17, 2010

Hiking/Camping at Temple Mountain

Conditions are perfect right now for all kinds of outdoor adventure. I camped and hiked over the weekend and the weather was incredibly nice. My group included some people who had never camped before and we had a great time.

We camped in the Temple Mountain area, getting off by ourselves in a remote spot where we had room to breath. Our closest neighbors were about half a mile away. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, cooked a Dutch oven cobbler and made smores by roasting marshmallows over the campfire. Food was tasty, and that always helps when you are introducing newbies to camp life.

Temple Mountain is close to Goblin Valley State Park and some of our group spent half a day exploring there. They loved it.

The Temple Mountain area offers great mountain bike and ATV routes, along with outstanding hiking trails. We went with foot power and did an adventure hike into Crack Canyon, introducing some of the group to the sport of canyoneering. They did very well – some said that was their favorite part of the trip.

Temple Mountain is a popular recreation area located on the edge of the San Rafael Swell. It is managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and there is no charge to camp or play in the area. There are vault toilets in two spots near the mountain, but not water and no services of any kind. You've got to be self-sufficient when you venture into this area. Slickrock extends in every direction and the area offers virtually unlimited opportunity for adventure.

Uranium mining was important in the Temple Mountain area a few decades ago and today you can see relics from the mines. Some of the old mines are unstable and dangerous. Visitors are prohibited from entering the mines and encouraged not to mill around in the tailing. (Some mine tailing contain radioactive material.)

BLM areas in Utah include land that was basically left over after the homestead era. In many spots the landscape is mostly dry, barren rock – very little dirt – and so the land won't sustain farms or communities. But these areas that nobody wanted a few decades ago have become very popular for recreation. At Temple Mountain and some other spots, the scenery and recreational opportunities rival those found in our national parks.

Right now is the perfect time to camp and explore Temple Mountain, the San Rafael Swell and other desert areas.

1 Comments:

  • At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was considering making a trip down there within the next couple of weeks but the Price BLM station said that in the Temple Mountain area campers are required to camp in the designated camp areas; Goblin Valley State Park or the two camp areas you mentioned. What has been your experience.

     

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