Red Mountain West

Categories: Utah

It took me a long time to become comfortable with wandering around on top of Red Mountain. First i tried to climb it unsuccessfully a few times. Then i did climb it a few times but came right back down. Then I went all in and did the Red Mountain Traverse. After that I was addicted. It wasn’t long before I went back up there to explore other areas, like the west side of the mountain, above Hellhole Canyon. You can read about Red Mountain on my post about the traverse, listed above. The west side of the mountain does not have any white rock, but it is less visited and has more topography. It was interesting to see how the drainages up there come together to create the 1,000 foot high Hellhole Falls. Enjoy the pictures.

Back on top of Red Mountain on a great cloudy day. Seriously, it is really nice here when it’s cloudy. This time i was headed over towards that rounded cliff face and north of there.

It can’t’ get any easier than this! 

Red Mountain is complicated and full of hills and valleys. It’s always a good idea to get your bearings well in advance when you are on a high point. It could be awhile before you get another view to gauge where you are.

I was disappointed not to find an efficient way though this mess. It sucks to waste a bunch of energy before you are halfway done.

I made it out of the valley and was ready to cross into another drainage.

The open expanse of West Red Mountain. Left of center it looks like Zeus smashed a spear into Hellhole Canyon.

Occasionally in the wilderness I find these really cool, very delicate mini hoodoos or balanced rocks. Do not touch them.

One of the unique qualities of this part of the mountain was a lot of quarry like stair stepping with lichen on the north faces of the stones.

Things got steep and complicated but very cool near the edge.

I had intended to go all the way across the slick rock up to the juniper forest in the north. BUT, it was so cool where I was I decided to explore the southern half of the mountain. That was fine, I went up to the area you see here on another day that was brilliantly sunny after a week of rain. There were lots and lots of pools up there. In fact, the title picture is from that day. Yep, I tricked you. But on cloudy days the colors are more vibrant and, except for sunset, I prefer it that way.

Speaking of pools, this is one of the largest on the entire mountain. The yellow stain seems to be a high water mark and it was at least 20 feet over the meadow. The only other pool I can think of might not be bigger.

There is a broad table (with its own dry pool) next to the pool and it leads too….

This huge cliff on the edge of the mountain.

A neat little arch

That pool is DEEP. I didn’t go down there but i need to go back either when it’s green or full of water. 

After all the steep topography it was surreal to enter acres of land that were completely flat. The stones here were perfectly settled so I tried to skirt around on the rocks to avoid leaving any footprints in this unvisited, perfect area.

The sandy pebble meadows led to more open rock wash basins. I got the feeling that this place also might be submerged from time to time.

You could not sweep this cleaner with a broom.

Fantastic stuff around here.

The base of this dome looks like a turbine.

A fractal arrangement. Again, stepping on the pebbles in a place like this would ruin this scene, in addition to damaging the little microcosm gluing them together.

I might as well have been walking around indoors at this point. 

If this was the Sierra Nevadas i’d be in the Tablelands.

Abruptly, everything ended.

Looking off the edge down at Kayenta. I’ve since seen a waterfall pouring off this spot during heavy rains.

It was starting to rain so it was time to figure out how to get back to the exit point.

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