A selection of images from our 4,560-mile summer getaway. This was an alternate plan, created after flying became undesirable due to the pandemic. (We’ll save Portland and the Oregon Coast for when things are back to normal.) We managed to salvage existing plans from Stanley, Idaho through Dinosaur National Monument and found some incredible places on the way there and the way home to explore. The focus became less-popular NPS sites, camping, and lonesome wilderness areas centered around … Ranges and Rivers.
Old Rail Trestle over the Niobrara River outside of Valentine Nebraska now part of the Cowboy Trail.
Prairie Dogs keeping an eye on us at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge.
Fort Falls, Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge.
Hiking along the Lookout Point trail at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota.
Baby bison at Custer State Park, South Dakota.
Bismarck Lake Campground, Black Hills, South Dakota.
View from the top of Black Elk Peak, the highest point in South Dakota. Black Elk Wilderness. Little Devil’s Tower is at center-left.
Fire lookout tower on the summit of Black Elk Peak, Elevation 7,231 feet.
Cathedral Spires viewed from the top of Little Devil’s Tower, Black Hills, SD.
Post-hike kayaking on Bismarck Lake. Inflatable kayaks were the best summer investment.
The end of the Sacred Rim Trail overlooking the high peaks of the Wind River Range near Pinedale, Wyoming.
Heading to Green River Lakes meant taking 18 miles of rough gravel road. We might have been the only non-truck on the road but we made it.
This is the view that inspired the trip reroute… Squaretop Mountain reflected in Green River Lakes, the headwaters of the Green River.
Incredible views up Clear Creek Canyon above Green River Lakes.
Fly fishermen along the meandering Green River not far from its source in the Wind River Range.
We may have each gotten 100 mosquito bites while inflating the kayaks, but floating here will still be a 2020 highlight.
Good beer and a practically private hotel. Sawtooth Hotel in Stanley, Idaho.
Stanley is located in the Central Idaho Dark Sky Preserve, and we happened to be there during the new moon, so the Milky Way was out in full force.
Comet Neowise was also near its peak … incredible.
Alpine Lake viewed from the trail to Sawtooth Lake.
Jagged Sawtooth Mountain peaks surround hikers on the ascent.
A pika joined us for lunch along the shore of Sawtooth Lake.
Sawtooth Lake and Mt. Regan.
Nick and Johnny enjoying a morning ride at Mystic Saddle Ranch near Redfish Lake.
Neil and Dickey.
Our guide, Caleb and that beautiful Sawtooth skyline.
Camas Lily sculpture near the Sun Valley Museum of Art, Ketchum, Idaho.
Bow Bridge in Hailey, Idaho.
Our rustic Airbnb cabin in Bellevue, Idaho was perfect.
Campsite 29 at Craters of the Moon National Monument. The sunken tent site was a benefit when wind gusts picked up in the evening.
Craters of the Moon Loop Road viewed from the Big Sink Overlook along Broken Top Loop Trail.
Lava as far as the eye can see.
Spatter cones at Craters of the Moon.
The “Big Craters” area.
Nighttime camping at Craters of the Moon.
Replicas of the locomotives used during the construction of the Trans Continental Railroad ready for the steam demonstration.
Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah viewed from the steps of the Capitol. This was the only major city we visited on the whole trip.
The Quarry Exhibit Hall at Dinosaur National Monument allows guests close up views of a pile of 1,500 dinosaur bone fossils in air conditioned comfort.
Ominous skies over the colorful “Desert Voices Nature Trail” at Dinosaur NM.
Approaching sunset on the way to the Green River Campground.
On the way to our rafting trip, we stopped by some Freemont culture petroglyphs, some of the best-preserved anywhere.
Addy, our Adrift Adventures guide, expertly parallel parked us in this small cave on the Green River.
Overlooking the canyons carved by the Green and Yampa Rivers from Harpers Corner, Dinosaur National Monument.
Palisade Rim Trail above the vineyards surrounding Palisade, Colorado. Mt. Garfield and the Book Cliffs are on the right.
Excellent wine flight and lunch at Maison La Belle Vie winery.
We took the scenic route from Grand Junction to Black Canyon of the Gunnison over Grand Mesa. This is the view looking south from around 11,000 feet. It feels like you can see every mountain range in Colorado from up there.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Looking down at the Gunnison River deep within.
We’ve previously visited the more-popular South Rim at Black Canyon, but went to the remote North Rim this time.
The views from the North Rim might be even more impressive than the South because of the sheer 1,200 foot drop.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument contains petrified stumps of redwood trees from when the Colorado climate was tropical.
We stopped by a fascinating art installation called “Last Chance Modular Array” near Last Chance, Colorado.
The sculpture by Studio M12 sticks out on the flat plains. You’ll never see this part of Colorado in a brochure.
We broke up the trip home with a night at a “Bed and Brew” across the street from Pal’s Brewing in North Platte, Nebraska.
This entry was posted in Destinations
, High Kick Photos
and tagged black hills
, Colorado wine
, craters of the moon
, dinosaur National Monument
, last chance modular array
, Road trip
, Sawtooth mountains
, valentine Nebraska
, wind river range
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