Features

True Confessions on the Hermit Trail

True Confessions on the Hermit Trail

Ed Abbey and I traveled all over the Southwest. I was a college sophomore and Desert Solitare had been in print for only four years. I kept a cheap, dog-eared copy in my red Kelty external frame backpack and everywhere I hitchhiked across the Southwest, there was Ed. We had great conversations. We hitchhiked across […]

Backcountry Skiing in the West Desert

Backcountry Skiing in the West Desert

You’ve had it happen before. You get up at a seemingly early time, make your coffee, drive your geared up car to the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and the line of cars is already waiting for you. You wanted serenity, and you got the opposite: a line of cars containing increasingly aggro skiers, each […]

Powders of Persuasion

Powders of Persuasion

Story and Photos By Luke Mehall   Note: this piece is an excerpt from the author’s upcoming book, The Desert, due out later this year.   My college years in The Desert were adventurous and crazy, a complete immersion in the unknown. After I graduated I began to roam from climbing area to climbing area, […]

Ancestral Passages- The Future of Southeastern Utah

Ancestral Passages- The Future of Southeastern Utah

In my Dad’s Land Cruiser, I exited I-70 and turned onto Highway 24, heading south, my spring break adventure about to start. I had just flown home from graduate school to visit my parents and to seek a little rest and relaxation in canyon country. It had been a while. Schooling in the Midwest has […]

Westminster Expedition- Not Your Average Road Trip

Westminster Expedition- Not Your Average Road Trip

Stories are powerful. Stories are the lens through which we view the world around us. Stories distill the complexity of the world into digestible narratives that inform our values and actions every day. And in our travels, we heard lots of stories. This past fall Westminster College sent 14 students, two professors, and a program […]

Park City- Prepared for the Future?

Park City- Prepared for the Future?

As a small child living in Pleasant Grove I would anxiously await our annual visit to Park City. We would stay in my Grandma’s condo, and I thought the little mountain town was on a different planet than my home in Utah County. When I was 12 and snowboarding became the center of my life, […]

Remembering the Goddess of Glen Canyon- Katie Lee

Remembering the Goddess of Glen Canyon- Katie Lee

Katie Lee was 89 when I met her at her cottage in Jerome, Arizona and just as feisty as ever. A former singer songwriter and folksinger, Katie had spent her life stretching boundaries and living on her own terms whether it was hiking in Glen Canyon wearing only red Keds and a large straw hat, […]

Diffusing an Explosive Situation in Bears Ears National Monument

Diffusing an Explosive Situation in Bears Ears National Monument

We were about thirty minutes into our adventure and five minutes away from finding the explosives. I looked back to my companion for this adventure—a BLM law enforcement officer, packing a gun and everything—and asked if he was doing alright. He was just fine, and minutes later we were checking out the explosives. “You moved […]

A Return To Canyon Country

A Return To Canyon Country

“Hey, Mike, what’s up?” my brother Rob asked. “You want to head to the desert this weekend?” I inquired over the phone. “The weather looks ideal.” We both began to pack. Some trips are well planned; others are spur of the moment breaks from reality. This was one of those trips.   The fall desert […]

Backpacking Buckskin Gulch

Backpacking Buckskin Gulch

The moment was peculiar, I noticed, when Matt Walker tossed an inflatable pool toy into our shopping cart. Polygamous women and girls wandered the aisles in grubby prairie dresses, wearing hair so big they could paint the ceiling by just walking beneath it. Also in the cart, an assortment of the usual last-minute trip essentials. […]

Desert Dog

Desert Dog

Chapter 1 This is the most beautiful place on earth, but of course like Cactus Ed Abbey said, every person carries in their heart an image of the ideal place, the right place. This is just the right place for me. But, right now, something is not right, and its pitch black anyways, no beauty […]

Gravel is Just Baby Rocks

Gravel is Just Baby Rocks

  I’ve been riding and racing bikes for over 30 years. At different points during this time, I’ve focused my interest and energy on riding and racing road, mountain, and cyclocross bikes, For the better part of that time, I have struggled to give an adequate explanation to my non-cycling enthusiast friends when asked about […]

Riding the Pony Express

Riding the Pony Express

As temperatures cool with the much-anticipated advent of fall in Utah, most local recreators start thinking again about the desert adventures that seem a bit daunting in the heat and big monsoons of summer. Most of those thoughts focus on the famous spots in southern Utah like Canyonlands, Robber’s Roost, Cedar Mesa, and the myriad […]

Zinke

Zinke “Listens”

After the Interior Secretary’s tour of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments, Proponents say their voice has been anything but heard. In a video long on white guys in cowboy hats, the U.S. Department of the Interior has documented Secretary Ryan Zinke’s early May visit to the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase/Escalante national […]

1878- Murder in Escalante Canyon

1878- Murder in Escalante Canyon

ISOLATION, TORMENT, AND REMORSE On November 30, 1878, John Boynton shot and killed Washington Phipps in Southern Utah’s Escalante River Canyon near Calf Creek. Late that day, he rode fifteen miles to the settlement of Potato Valley—now the town of Escalante–to turn himself in. Following Boynton’s directions, the Deputy Sheriff found Phipps and buried him […]