With guest historian, John Weisheit , CFI Co Founder, Executive Director, Karla VanderZanden we enjoy three days getting to know the San Rafael desert and the importance of this island mountain range in establishing key geological concepts, as well as its place to native peoples and later explorers, miners and settlers. Our trip officially starts at 9:00 in the morning at the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River, Utah (there is an option to start in Moab and travel early with CFI staff.) From the Museum, we board CFI vehicles and travel south through the San Rafael Desert to Star Springs and then onto Cat Ranch, private land at the base of Mt. Hillers, that will be our base for the two nights. Here we set up a cozy camp in the orchard. Our hosts the Stockham family make available an indoor meeting place and a restroom.
Another day, we tour with Hondoo Trails, long time licensed outfitter in this region. If we are lucky we might see the Henry’s well known bison herd as well as deer, elk and other wildlife. Our trip is mostly by vehicle with short walks and is rated moderate in physical activity; we will be camping about 6,000 feet in elevation. CFI provides all meals starting with lunch the first day through last day. Our group returns to Green River by late afternoon on the last day (with CFI staff continuing on to Moab.)
John Weisheit is the Conservation Director with Living Rivers a non-profit focused on river conservation based in Moab, Utah. John is an historian, author accomplished guide, and educator with a long history of advocacy for rivers in the Southwest. He has served on the boards of Colorado Plateau River Guides, Headwaters Institute, and Canyonlands Field Institute among others. He has authored numerous articles on regional geology and history, and with two co-authors wrote a book called Cataract Canyon: A Human and Environmental History of the Rivers in Canyonlands.