Outings > Overnight and Camping

Navajo Lake, Utah


Came back down yesterday, took the boys up to Navajo Lake, back up Cedar Canyon near Cedar City.  We were just above Zion Park, maybe 20 miles by crow north of the last trip.  High up again, about 9000 feet at the lake, about 10k feet at the camp ten miles farther up.  Mule deer EVERYWHERE!  I haven't seen a muley since I left Montana in '06 and we had one literally grazing at the edge of our camp. 

It was great to get up out of the desert and 110 degrees and enjoy a few days of 70 degrees, Ponderosas and aspens.  Elevation was rough on me and my suburban, but we had a blast.  Racked up about 50 miles of off and dirt roads hauling the boys to the lake and over to mammoth cave (which was really a major disappointment!  Just a couple narrow, collapsed lava tubes that run about 100 yards.  i was expecting a big, grand cave!). 

First night up, it had been raining for a couple days and everything was soaked.  We had no firewood with us as there is always plenty laying about up there.  We got in at dusk and got set up quickly.  The boys were wanting a fire and had the typical Hollywood mentality of apply match to 6" thick log and poof...fire.  Yeah, right.  So I had them saw up a decent 4" log which I split down with my bigknife.  A couple of them got busy making fuzz sticks...some really decent sticks too!  We did a teepee lay and I pulled out a pjc for tinder.  One hit with a match and it burnt long enough to dry out the fizz sticks enough to combust.  We got it rolling, and piled up the rest of our wood next to the pit to dry.  Did real well.
We did find out the next day that fires are prohibited right now...oops.  no sign when we went in.  So we observed the restriction the next two days.

Found an old debris hut not too far from camp.  Its been used by the troop for years, so it was likely from one of those trips, but it was pretty cool: no lashings, lean-to wedged into a tree fork, some pretty heavy sticks to form the sides and pine bough thatching.  Had a door on the center of one side.  I thought that was pretty cool. 

Deer sign was everywhere.  Had coyotes yipping about the last night and found some big muley tracks.  Wildflowers all around the lake.  Indian Paintbrush, Queen Anne's Lace, little yellow and purple flowers I remember from back home, but can't remember the names, even a few Canadian Thistle encroaching this far south.

Friday we took the boys to the lake so they could ride the bike trail around it.  Then we took them up to a high point near the camp and let them ride down to the caves.  Three decided to ride back up, only one made it.  Game group of youngin's!  They did right about twenty miles at 10,000 feet elevation (we live at about 2500 feet) in some pretty hilly terrain!

All in all, it was a good outing.  I did a tarp shelter with my cot to stay off the ground and slept warm in the chilly (and wet) 40-ish nights.  I used a shelter-half as an over-blanket for wind and any stray raindrops...worked great...also helped keep the damn deerflies off my face.  I think i need a net for net trip up there!

shelter I found:


Navajo Lake from the bottom:

Awesome Gryphon... looks like a nice place to spend a couple days away with the kids  :thumbsup:

I love Navajo lake. My wife's boss has a cabin up there. Im a huge fan of southern Utah. Its nice to leave the desert heat here in Vegas and enjoy the cooler weather that elevation brings. Looks like you had a fun trip.

Nice trip! I like the idea of a cot under a tarp - if you don't have to carry it too far - looks really comfortable! :thumbsup:


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