We headed back through the tunnel to the east side of the park for what we thought was a medium difficulty trail much like the Many Pools Trail we did the other day. I am not exactly sure what it was but this one really tired us out. It was only about 5 km and a gain of about 700 feet. We left the car around 10:30 and didn’t get back until 3:30 with an hour of that either at lunch or just staring.
We parked at a pullout and then walked back along the highway until there was a spot that you could get down in the creek wash that the highway follows.
The wash was kind of rocky but we only had to follow it for about 400 yards.
We love these splashes of bright red that just show up in random places.
Then we climbed a steep section of slick rock over a saddle and down into the Separation Creek wash. The website I use said to checkout the gully back beside the highway where the two washes join together.
Jennie waited while I checked it out before we headed off to the south. This section of the sandstone was littered with all these chunks of what looked like volcanic rocks blown all over the place.
On wards up Separation Canyon. The little white nub of rock you see over Jennie’s head, below, is our eventual destination, Separation Peak.
We always wonder what causes all these small holes in the sandstone.
Lots of interesting rocks to examine.
I love these big open bowls. We got a bit sidetracked here but the GPS and topo maps got us going back in the right direction.
Our destination is growing larger.
The standing water was very dark and oily in spots.
The map on the website I used took us in a slightly circuitous route that took us along side this hill called Nipple Top. You can guess and see why in later pictures.
We missed our turn to Separation Peak so we had to hoof it up and over a sandy hill.
At the top of this hill we were tired and hungry so we sat and had lunch.
Separation Peak is just across from us. It is hard to see with the large mesa in the background.
While at resting at lunch I managed to sit on a Prickly Pear cactus. I do not recommend this. I had to take my pants off and try and scrape the spines out.
I had my privacy because we did not encounter a single other person on the trail. It was also one of the quietest places I have been in a long time. When the wind wasn’t blowing it was absolutely silent. Very peaceful.
After lunch we climbed to the top of Separation Peak. It was quite steep and crumbly.
There were a lot of ridges that would just break off as you walked on them.
At the top was this 20 foot high nub that was a challenge to get on top off. Jennie stayed below.
There was a great 360 degree view from the top. This is back the way we came looking north. Notice Jennie taking my picture. Our car is back against that far wall.
Off to the south.
Nipple Top to the west.
The full 360 view. Scroll to the right. I sat and stared here for quite a while.
Eventually we headed back via a more direct route that I had seen from the top.
Our last look a Separation Peak.
Back up on the road right across from the car we saw people looking up the cliff.
The one below was right on the cliff edge above the road. While I was standing there he knocked about a 10 lb chunk of rock off, that landed right in the middle of the lane of the highway. It would have done some serious damage if it had hit a car. I pushed it to the side so no one would run over it.
Back at the RV, after a nap, we decided to have a easy dinner and headed out for some pizza.