< more recent | 15-31 August 2017 | older >

A Favorite Sedona Trail…

Ended the day on Broken Arrow…

27 AUGUST 2017: Made it back to Sedona with enough time to stop by a favorite Jeep trail, and do a quick loop around the red rock landscapes of Broken Arrow. The sun was hot but the late afternoon light lit up the red rock with a special kind of glow, making for a great ending to a whirlwind road trip through some truly fantastical terrain…

Through the Painted Desert…

A scenic drive south …

27 AUGUST 2017: The “return” trip from the North Rim on the road back towards Sedona was a great drive through some fabulously surreal landscapes, starting with the Vermillion Cliffs, and continuing down through a section of Painted Desert, offering an unusual opportunity to “connect” these “separate” landscapes into a bigger whole. The journey was definitely inspriational…

Camp in the Kaibab NF…

Back in the forest…

26 AUGUST 2017: Set up camp in a nice spot in the Kaibab National Forest just outside the boundaries of the Grand Canyon National Park for a relaxed evening under the stars before beginning the return journey tomorrow. It has been a very short, but very inspirational trip that definitely exceeded expectations. The variety of landscapes, the wildlife sightings, and the relative solitude that was available by just taking a Jeep trail away from the Visitor Center hub was amazing (especially considering the number of visitors the park receives this time of year) …

Grand Canyon…

An iconic view of grandeur…

26 AUGUST 2017: The scale and scope of the Grand Canyon puts everything in another perspective. It give the word “vast” new meaning. Taking some time to just reflect on the majestic beauty and the enormity of it all after reaching Point Sublime and being able to appreciate it in solitude and silence was a rare treat …

Point Sublime…

A beautiful trail across a variety of terrain…

26 AUGUST 2017: Set off on the Point Sublime trail this morning and enjoyed the day weaving through the forest to the very edge of the Grand Canyon rim, with scenic stops in the forest along the way. The trail ends in a dramatic vista across the canyon on the tip of one of the narrow “fingers” that stretch out into the vast opening. The drive was a fabulous meander up and down varied landscapes with a few very beautiful surprises …

The North Rim…


A scenic view of the Grand Canyon…

25 AUGUST 2017: The more “remote” side of the Grand Canyon wasn’t exactly empty, but once away from the Visitor Center, it was easy to find some solitude with the awe-inspiring landscape. The enormity of the canyon’s grandeur is hard to grasp, and it takes a while to get used to the scale. Great to be able to just walk out onto the edge of the rim and find a quite spot to watch the sunset …

Tater Ridge…


Climbing up the Kaibab Plateau…

25 AUGUST 2017: Some great views of the Vermillion Cliffs before turning back onto dirt across the House Rock Valley Buffalo Reserve to the Tater Ridge trail. The trail was nice and easy, but quite beautiful as it climbed slowly up onto the plateau, with the landscape changing as the elevation increased. Below the desert and stretched out, and above the forest waited. Radically different terrain and even temperatures in a matter of a couple of hours …

Sedona to Marble Canyon…

The roadtrip begins…

24 AUGUST 2017: Got the Jeep from Barlow Adventures late afternoon, and left Sedona on dirt via the Schnebly Hill trail. It was a great “departure” accompanied by the beautiful red rock vistas and dramatic overlooks back towards town. From there it was pavement for roughly 150 miles, north with a short stop at the Cameron Trading Post for dinner en route. Arrived into Marble Canyon well after dark but a little earlier than estimated …

Great to be in Sedona…

Red rocks and blue skies…

23 AUGUST 2017: Arrived in Sedona late last night and woke to a favorite view of red rocks and blue skies. Just being here is incredibly energizing. A lot to do to prep for the next few days and an intensive journey northward over the weekend. Solid planning and pre-pro will hopefully add up to a smooth and successful trip, even though time is very tight. The time constraint will be its own challenge…


Heading back to the southwest for some very hot desert time later this August, with some familiar trails and a few new destinations to explore.


Going to RebelleU for some refresher dunes training in September. Rebelle U was established by veteran off-road racer and Rebelle Rally-founder Emily Miller, to help women learn, build, sharpen, and refine off-roading skills in authentic environments designed for them to excel. The training program offers 1-4 day driving and navigation classes in southern California aimed at preparing women to take on vehicle-based adventure.

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Planning is underway for a scouting mission into a new region of exploration for USnomads — the famed Silk Road across Central Asia. More details to come as specifics are worked out.


The Broken Arrow Trail, easily reached just off Hwy 179 on the south side of Sedona, is a very popular jeep track an hiking trail, climbing gently up a wide valley, lined with amazing red rock formations that tower into the sky. It ends at Chicken point, a low pass which has good views south towards Oak Creek village, and north to Sedona and the high mountains beyond. Though heavily trafficked the trail offers a great introduction to Sedona’s famous red rock scenery, with a few optional fun obstacles along the way. The highlight of the drive is the “Staircase,” a steep and somewhat intimidating downhill drive over rock “steps” which is always exciting…


The Painted Desert is a desert of badlands in the Four Corners area running from near the east end of the Grand Canyon National Park southeast into the Petrified Forest National Park. It is known for its brilliant and varied colors, that not only include the more common red rock, but even shades of lavender. The Painted Desert was named by an expedition under Francisco Vázquez de Coronado on his 1540 quest to find the Seven Cities of Cibola, which he located some forty miles east of The Petrified Forest National Park. Finding the cities were not made of gold, Coronado sent an expedition to find the Colorado River to resupply him. Passing through the wonderland of colors, they named the area “El Desierto Pintado” – The Painted Desert. The desert is composed of stratified layers of easily erodible siltstone, mudstone, and shale of the Triassic Chinle Formation. These fine grained rock layers contain abundant iron and manganese compounds which provide the pigments for the various colors of the region. Thin resistant lacustrine limestone layers and volcanic flows cap the mesas. The erosion of these layers has resulted in the formation of the badlands topography of the region. Much of the Painted Desert is within the Petrified Forest National Park, and is protected as the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area where motorized travel is limited. The park offers both easy and longer hikes into the colored hills but for motorized recreation in the area outside the park, it is possible to get permits for certain trails where the Painted Desert continues north into the Navajo Nation


The Grand Canyon overwhelms the senses through its immense size. The Colorado River and other erosional forces sculpted the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau to form the Grand Canyon, revealing a beautiful sequence of rock layers that serve as windows into time. The Grand Canyon is valued worldwide as one of the Earth’s most powerful and inspiring scenic landscapes, offering people enriching opportunities to explore and experience its wild beauty in both vast and intimate spaces. Extreme changes in elevation, exposure, and climate support a remarkable range of biotic communities in unusual proximity. The canyon itself is a unique combination of geologic color and erosional forms that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. The North Rim invokes a sense of solitude and serenity. It is a place that invites you to slow down, to ponder, to feel your own innate creativity, and to fall in love with landscape. Check out this NPS video about the North Rim …


The North Kaibab Ranger District encompasses most of the Kaibab Plateau, with the southern boundary bordering Grand Canyon National Park. The Kaibab Plateau is an island of forested lands surrounded by the sage, grasslands and canyons of lower elevations. The plateau, with elevations up to 9,000 feet, is bordered on the south by the Grand Canyon, on the east and west by tributary canyons of the Colorado River, and on the north by plains that are dissected by the tiers of uplifted cliffs of the Grand Escalante. “Kaibab” is a Paiute Indian word meaning “mountain lying down,” and Major John Wesley Powell, the famous explorer of the Colorado River, was the first writer to apply the term “Kaibab” to the plateau…


Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is located in Arizona, immediately south of the Utah state line. This National Monument, 293,689 acres in area, protects the Paria Plateau, Vermilion Cliffs, Coyote Buttes, and Paria Canyon. This remote and unspoiled geologic treasure, contains a variety of diverse landscapes. Elevations range from 3,100 to 7,100 feet. The monument is also home to a growing number of California condors, an endangered species…

Barlow Adventures rents fully-equipped and modified Jeeps for use on trails in Arizona, Utah and California. In addition they offer professional 4×4 driving instruction and training in Sedona, AZ, and fully outfitted multi-day trips in Moab and on California’s famous Rubicon Trail. In Moab, the undisputed Jeeping capitol of the world, the Barlow team guides drivers over iconic trails, and helps build 4-wheeling skills in the context of a fun adventure through the rugged high desert landscape….

Number one on USA Weekend’s “Most Beautiful Places in America list,” Sedona, AZ is surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land, with great jeep trails that wind in and out of a rugged landscape defined by pinnacles, spires, buttes and domes. …

clear sky
humidity: 20%
wind: 7mph S
H 79 • L 48
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

Nesconset | Sedona | Shamokin

8-14 August – TFT9
1-7 August – Serbia
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19-25 Sep – Long Island
12-18 Sep – Yuma and Glamis
5-11 Sep – Sedona
29 Aug – 4 Sep – Long Island
23-28 August – Rod Hall Drive Training
15-22 August – Reno Rebelle Training



A look into south-eastern Algeria on the border with Libya and Niger: overlanding with the Tuareg in one of the most remote corners of the Sahara … [read]



Detailed series on a solo scouting journey into some of the remotest backcountry around Moab. The six day 450-mile off-pavement trip into the Maze district of the Canyonlands National Park offers insight into the challenges of expedition planning… [read]

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