Flickr album link: Book Cliffs
The Book Cliffs region of Utah covers a vast amount of high desert wilderness in central Utah. Several national and state parks are located next to destination, yet relatively few people venture into these parts on any given day. Until recent years, finding information about the Book Cliffs required some careful research, but there is now a wealth of information freely available on the web. For those who discover the Book Cliffs while touring the famous national parks in Moab, one look from I-70 is enough to strike up interest, yet the rugged nature of this geological area is intimidating enough to cause onlookers to settle for the distant views. Figuring out how to navigate the dirt roads going into this area is another challenge and because there are no local cellular data signals, the majority of passersby resign to saving this destination for a later date or forgetting about it altogether.
The Book Cliffs certainly are alluring and any venture into this wilderness must be planned ahead of time. This area is a bit deceptive too, because it is easy to assume that the best pathway into this wilderness is to follow the dirt roads north from I-70. There are a few points of interest that are well worth checking out when coming from this direction and Sago Canyon is by far the most popular. As mention earlier, the Book Cliffs cover a lot of ground and heading west to Highway 191 is the means for finding easier access. The communities of East Carbon, Wellington and Price have roads that go up and over the mountains into the Book Cliffs wilderness and starting from here actually is the easiest way to get to Nine Mile Canyon, which is one of the most famous destinations in this region. Amazingly enough, the dirt access roads in this area pass through green lush high elevation forests and meadows on the way into the Book Cliffs, which is like pure eye candy after experiencing the desolate desert environment down below. Better still, fueling up and stocking up for the venture is easy to do, since Price is a gateway town that offers all amenities.
The Flickr photo album for this article features the front range of the towering Book Cliffs that can be seen along I-70. Information about the Nine Mile Canyon route will be published in a future article, but abandoning any thought of checking out the front range is not good to do. The dirt roads through the high plains and rolling hills down below the cliffs are a great place for a wildlife viewing slow ride and plenty of antelope can be spotted here. There are a few hidden freshwater springs in this desolate area and where there is water, there is wildlife. The Colorado River flows nearby, so it is possible to spot ospreys in this area along with common raptors. This is a jackrabbit, coyote and prairie dog haven too, so be sure to pack a powerful lens when poking along the dirt trails that the run up to to Book Cliffs from I-70!
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