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Dave Beedon | profile | all galleries >> Places >> Utah >> Moab (environs) >> Moab: Tilted Hunter-Gatherer Plateau tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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Moab: Tilted Hunter-Gatherer Plateau

The "tilted plateau" is how I refer to a gently-sloping landscape above Kane Springs Canyon and the Hunter Canyon Rim Trail (HCRT), near Moab. It is a portion of the plateau between Gatherer Canyon to the north and Hunter Canyon to the south. It lies at the center of this Wikimapia aerial view.

The plateau slopes downward to the north, a gradient that is clearly visible from the opposite side of Kane Springs Canyon. Most of the plateau is covered with cryptobiotic crust. Its rough triangular shape is ringed on two sides by a cliff and on the third by rounded sandstone hills. Access is by a single slot between two of those hills.

When I saw it from the Amasa Back Trail, it called to me, so I had to explore it. Two years later I answered the call in a combination of trail hiking (on the Hunter Canyon Rim Trail) and off-trail travel. The off-trail section included an easy scramble among ledges that led up the the plateau of hills and fins. Having Google Earth print-outs made off-trail navigation easy. The hike was about eleven miles round trip. At its end I was a tired puppy, partially from having drunk too little water. The next day I got sick from dehydration.

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