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Petes Mesa Maze District Canyonlands NP, UT

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,461 feet
Accumulated Gain 194 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.65
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
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Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
20  2017-09-28 Steph_and_Blake
60  2016-05-20
The Maze - Petes Mesa
author avatar Guides 100
Routes 63
Photos 2,548
Trips 184 map ( 820 miles )
Age 73 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
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Preferred Oct, Apr, May, Mar
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:21am - 7:32pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

More Aptly Named Petes Peninsula
by Steph_and_Blake

The trail out to Petes Mesa (which tops out at 5505 feet) begins at the Chimney Rock parking area in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. As you're standing in the parking area and looking at Chimney Rock, the trailhead for Petes Mesa is the second one from the left (the one that goes around the east side of Chimney Rock). The hike is somewhat undulating, gradually descending from 5400 feet down to 5100, and takes you across the length of a very wide peninsula over to the true Petes Mesa. Alternating stretches of white slickrock and dark red dirt/rocks take you past sage, stunted juniper, and an occasional prickly pear. The path is easy to follow and is moderately well-cairned. Note that some of the cairns are difficult to see at first in that they may be built of only 2 or 3 rocks and sometimes the color of the rocks is the same as the background. If you ever feel you've lost the trail, just stay high on the "peninsula" or ridge. Plus you can almost always see Chimney Rock to find your way back to the trailhead.

We hiked as far as the left-hand turn down into the western flanks that eventually takes you to the Maze Overlook and the famous Harvest Scene pictograph. This turn was identified by a very obvious line of rocks "blocking" your way further north on Petes Mesa. We found a nice wide boulder that straddled the ridge and enjoyed views to the north, west, and east over lunch. We could see Chimney Rock, Standing Rock, the Chocolate Drops, the Plug, Ekker Butte, Elaterite Butte, and the expanse of Petes Mesa. We guessed that the "peninsula" stretched on for another mile or so before widening out to form the large mesa. No reason not to explore further!

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2017-10-05 Steph_and_Blake
  • Needles District - 1
    area related
    Needles District - 1
  • Needles District - 2
    area related
    Needles District - 2

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Information is listed below

Canyonlands National Park
Vehicles: $10 (Good for 7 days)

Map Drive
Strictly 4x4

To hike
Heading north on Highway 95 from either Blanding or Mexican Hat, take the turnoff for Hike. Top off your gas tank there. Get back on Highway 95, heading north towards Hanksville. Almost immediately after crossing the Colorado River, take a hard right onto Route 633. Take this for about 48 miles to the Chimney Rock parking area, following the (minimal) signs to Doll House. The drive from Hite to Chimney Rock takes about 4 hours and requires a high-clearance, 4x4 vehicle and, at times, rather technical driving skills. A permit is required to camp in the Maze. The usual National Park fees are applicable.
page created by Steph_and_Blake on Oct 05 2017 1:32 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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