Explore the remote Grand Gulch area


Southwest Field Exploration

Field trip: October 13-18

Pre-trip classes: Sept. 24, Oct. 1 & Oct. 8, 6:30-8:30pm, Carbondale

Post-trip class: Oct. 22, 6:30-8:30pm

CMC will explore the remote Grand Gulch area this fall. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Long.

CMC will explore the remote Grand Gulch area this fall. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Long.

Our unique, guided field course to the remote Grand Gulch area in Utah is an exploration of cultural and natural history that few get to experience.

Situated in the Natural Bridges region, west of Blanding, Utah, Grand Gulch spans 51.7 miles at its length. It is being considered for designation as a wilderness area, and access can be gained only by permit. Surrounded by high mesas above the horizon and slick rock below, Grand Gulch contains hundreds of archaeological sites. Visitors will see cliff dwellings, a kiva, rock art and pottery shards that, upon close examination, reveal fingerprints that are at least 800 years old.

Instructors Sandy Jackson and Jim Campbell will give participants two perspectives on Grand Gulch: Sandy will provide an anthropological overview, considering how the area was used by prehistoric and historic cultures, while Jim will speak to the ecology of the area, including its plant and animal inhabitants and how the canyon itself was formed.

Participants need to be able to carry a 40-pound backpack for 25 miles and provide their own food and backpacking equipment.

The course is offered for 2 credit hours. In addition to tuition, students pay a supplemental charge of $150 which covers permit fees and transportation. Please contact Sandy Jackson with questions at sjackson@coloradomtn.edu. Register at any Roaring Fork Campus location: Carbondale (Lappala) Center, 963-2172; Glenwood Center, 945-7486; or Spring Valley, 945-7481.

Photo: Jennifer Long