San Rafael Swell Hiking Trip: Day 2

Sunrise from Camp

The day started off cold and cloudy. We were greeted by a spectacular sunrise. Our first excursion would be in Wild Horse Canyon, about 12 miles from our camp. The route follows the sandy bottom of the canyon and is a fairly easy walk. Our main goal was to locate two Fremont pictograph panels noted in a guidebook. Couldn’t find the first panel; the second was spotted high on an alcove above the drainage.

Fremont Panel in Wildhorse Canyon

 On our hike back to the head of the canyon, it began to rain. The rain continued for most of the rest of the day as we drove back to our camp after the hike.  The rain finally ended shortly after sunset, with the clouds revealing a brilliant sky full of stars. Soon after, the clouds rolled back in and it began to snow. I’m wondering if our day of hiking tomorrow will be thwarted by a desert snowstorm.


About Mike

I have a passion for adventure travel that began in 1989 with my first overseas trip: climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Having never been to a foreign country, Africa felt like being on another planet; I knew then and there I was hooked on travel. Since that time, I have visited all seven continents and dozens of countries. I’m using the experience I’ve gained in planning my own trips to help my clients plan their own adventures through my adventure travel company ( After working as a firefighter for the US Forest Service in California and Wyoming for three years, I moved to Durango, Colorado where I graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in accounting. After graduation I moved to the Denver area where I worked in a Big Eight accounting firm to obtain my CPA license; soon afterward I began a career as an auditor with the Colorado Department of Education. My background in accounting helped me develop detailed-oriented skills that have been extremely useful in researching and planning my own travel over the years. I think this provides a unique asset to my clients in putting together their adventure travel plans. I currently live in Golden, Colorado with my wife Valerie, who shares my love of adventure travel. I’m an active member of the Colorado Mountain Club where I lead trips for club members and have taught ski lessons in their Telemark Ski School. I enjoy skiing, mountain hiking, trail running, photography, and astronomy. I take any opportunity I can get to explore new places, whether it’s on the other side of the world or just down the road.
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