Posts Tagged ‘utah moonscape’

South Caineville Mesa – Hiking

Friday, September 20th, 2013
south caineville mesa - utah

Early morning light and a moon overhead make South Caineville Mesa come alive.

One of the more unique views in all of Utah is found by hiking up and onto South Caineville Mesa.  This is a good and somewhat strenuous hike, but the views? Oh so worth it.  As the mountains have eroded falling debris has cut ravines that fan out dramatically at the base.  (View this print-able itinerary for South Caineville Mesa)

South Caineville Mesa Hiking Trail

Jack Peterson, a local hiking enthusiast, walks up the spine of a formation.

You may have seen alluvial fans before, but not quite like these. You’ll think you’ve landed on the surface of the moon.

Utah Rock Formations

Rock formations along the South Caineville Mesa hiking trail.

To reach the hiking trailhead, pass through a gate and park about 100 yards above the wash. The trail is 2.8 miles long, starting at 4,543 feet.  Be sure to check weather conditions before heading out on South Caineville Mesa trail–the steep incline requires a clear, dry forecast for this strenuous hike.

A view from South Caineville Mesa to the mesa to the north.

There is a 7-foot wash to the southwest that may flood; otherwise try the alternative route to the southeast. Cross the Fremont River and head southeast to the open valley. Follow the trail along the ridge lines at the base of the mesa, then ascend nearly 1,000 feet to the top.

Jack Peterson looks across the valley between the mesas.

The views from the top are simply breathtaking, with Boulder Mountain to the west, and Thousand Lakes Mountain, Factory Butte, and the Henry Mountains rising to the south. Be sure to sign your name at the registration box near the rim.

Another view of the remarkable landscape between the mesa.

South Caineville Mesa is located about 1.5 miles east of the Rodeway Inn in Caineville, Utah.   (View this print-able itinerary for South Caineville Mesa)

Moonscape Overlook – Skyline View

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Sometimes you come across a view that just blows your mind. That’s the case with the Skyline View overlook of the Blue Valley near Factory Butte.  You could fly to the moon and quite possibly not see something that looks so “Moon-like” as you will see here.  Wayne County is know for its terrain that looks extraterrestrial and this view won’t disappoint.

Skyline View - Blue Valley - Moonscape

We suggest you see it in the later afternoon or evening when the sun will be behind you and you can view the long cast shadows across the desert floor.  You’ll also see the Henry Mountains in the distance to the south.   On a clear day you can see east past Hanksville and across Canyonlands National Park and possibly to the Manti LaSal Mountains.    Behind you is majestic Factory Butte and you can find various angles from which to photograph this grand formation.

This Skyline View and Moonscape Overlook is not far off the beaten path (a few minutes) and is definitely worth the stop anytime you are in the Factory Butte area.

Get there from Hanksville (view this Google Map link)

Get there from Caineville or Torrey (view this Google Map link)

You can also use this itinerary that includes more details about the Skyline View. (LINK)

This map shows the approximate location of the Skyline View - Moonscape Overlook

There is a very good surface dirt road that leaves highway 24 and runs just to the east of Factory Butte, and then you turn right for about 1 mile and go to the rim. The Henry Mountains are visible in the distance and the terrain looks just like what you might find on the moon.  It’s very impressive.

The closest lodging to this location is Caineville on the west and Hanksville on the east.