Sunday, September 21, 2008

Alstrom Point

During my adventure in Utah, I returned to Alstrom Point. This time I camped there so I'd be able to get some nice sunset photos. Since it's in the Glen Canyon NRA, backcountry camping requires no permit. Here's a Google Map page that's centered on Alstrom Point. If you zoom in, you can see the dirt roads.

I originally planned to get there via Smoky Mountain Road, but the washed out road forced me to take another route via the highway.

The route was much easier than my last visit 4 years ago, thanks to my new Garmin Nuvi GPS toy. All the dirt roads are in the Garmin database, and so I didn't have to consult my trail book at each new road intersection.

Alstrom Point is just 24 miles from the small town of Big Water on Highway 89 and takes 1.5 hours to drive one way. However ... the last 5 miles takes 30 minutes of that 1.5 hours. That part is slow going because of the mostly slickrock surface there. I'm sure a modified 4x4 can drive much faster than I did.

Four wheel drive isn't required to get there, but high clearance is. The biggest challenge was crossing the creek a half mile from Big Water - which was mostly getting up the 12-18 inch sandy side of the creek's wash. OK, maybe 4WD is helpful.

I took the obligatory photos of my car on the cliff with Lake Powell in the background. And the rock colors came out more as the sun began to set.

These are my favorites. That's Gunsight Butte directly across the water. Navajo Mountain is visible in the distance (10,388 ft summit).

I counted 10 houseboats parked in the water below Alstrom Point. I was envious of them and it made me want to try that some day.

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