West Desert Wanderings

Thank you Stephen for leading us out for a couple days in the desert! Your knowledge of the area made it a terrific learning experience for us! I think it’s safe to say that a very good time was had by all that went in our small-ish group. 🙂

Six vehicles started out on Friday (3 Jeeps, 2 Toys and a Trooper) from the Fairfield Cemetery just west of Eagle Mountain. We decided to head out and set up camp near Simpson Springs on the PET. We ended up spending our first night in a nice little area past Simpson Springs, just off the Simpson Springs/Death Canyon road. Setting up camp in the dark? No problem!

We woke up to beautiful skies and a nice view of the area, although, it was just a little breezy.

T’was a fun bunch! All smiles first thing in the morning as breakfast was in the making!




After a nice breakfast, we were off and running. Since we were on the PET, naturally, we had to stop at a marker and get a little history lesson from Stephen.

…then we headed back out into the dust…I mean desert…to go explore!

Along the way we came upon some of the…um…not-so-native wildlife in the area… One of which was wearing quite a clever disguise…

We pushed westward to Topaz Mountain where most of the group did a little exploring around the rocks…no rare gems were found that I am aware of… 🙂


We then decided to take a little trip south and visit the markers at the Topaz Internment Camp. This wasn’t one of our Nation’s best moments in history. It’s a rather solemn area…but significant in our history.




From Topaz, we decided to run into Delta and refuel, and head back out to the wilderness. We headed west to the Honey Comb Mine location off Lytle Road. The rock formations here are incredible. It almost looks like molten lava was poured from the sky to form the mountains here. Very cool area!






…and just in case… 🙂

The sky was looking pretty awesome as well.

…and to the west of us…more beautiful, open country!

So, to the west we continued! Lots of open land and dust! Thank goodness for a little wind to help us navigate a bit easier as we followed each other in our little convoy!


Our destination was Granite Canyon for our campsite. Unfortunately, we found a locked gate which kept us from getting to where we really wanted to go, but we found a decent site just below the gate that worked quite well.



The evening was terrific around the campfire! Good company, good stories, and good weather. Although…sometime during the night, the weather thing began to change. We were (mostly) all waken by the sound of the wind howling down the canyon. Luckily, the wind was just over the tops of the trees around us so we were pretty well protected. I woke up to the sound of some raindrops on my tent about at about 0600. I skipped putting on the rain fly the night before, so I was a bit concerned. But, the rain help off for a little while longer and allowed us to break camp and head out before the weather got too crazy. The skies to the east were pretty nice, but you can see the rain clouds coming in behind us to the very top left of this pic…

We headed to Callao and he CCC camp to take a little look around. Cool little area with some neat history! We didn’t stay long as the winds were picking up and the storms were catching up with us from the west…

The weather didn’t stop us from having fun along the way though!


On our way east toward Fish Springs, we stopped at Boyd’s Station of the old Pony Express. Lots of neat history and stories from the riders along this trail!

…and yes, we were just visiting…not moving in or anything. Ha!

Further east, there was what appears to be an old bus…and some ominous skies!

We managed to make it to Fish Springs, but by that time, the weather had turned on us and it was time to decide if we wanted to keep exploring the side roads or not. The temperature had dropped considerably, and the wind was picking up pretty well…it was time to head toward home.

Heading back east on the PET…look at that sky!


The last section of the PET before hwy 36 we ran into rain…it came down hard for a bit…then it turned into this white slushy stuff!

After a terrific weekend in the west desert area of our fine State, we parted ways not far from where our journey started. Thanks to those that came along and made it an enjoyable trip! It was great meeting you all, and I hope we can join up for some more adventures this year!


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Posted in Central Utah, History, Northern Utah, Photography, Quarterly Trail Ride