More Aptly Named Petes Peninsula
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!
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
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.