Nevada Loop
part 1

 

Map with route of our Four States Swing

Our return to Switzerland was approaching quickly and good weather was predicted for one more week. One day in October we decided to check out a few places we have not been to before. The next day we were on our way.

Crossing the Rockies dotted with Falls colors of every shade was no challenge on this fine day. Winter Park and  Steamboat Springs ski areas passed below, recalling to mind earlier trips we had made over the years. 

 
Yampa River carving the Dinosaur NPDutch John Airport (33U) Dinosaur National Park with it's spectacular and colorful gorges came into view. Many circles  were made for video and  photo taking. 

At the far northwestern end we found our first stop, the lonely airfield of Dutch John at an altitude of over 6'000'.  It must have seen busier days,  judging from the outlines of three runways. Only one is in use today, but can serve many different aircraft as it is over 7'000'. Everything was locked up tight, so we watered the dry fields and were on our way.

 
Antelope Flat of the Flaming Gorge Park (damming Green River)The next photo opportunity was the Flaming Gorge Reservoir lying just north  of our take-off from Dutch John. On this relatively calm day it was like a mirror reflecting the clouds of an oncoming frontal system. What a perfect place for a seaplane base. There are many places to explore  and several expeditions are available to see this magnificent area. The wind picked up significantly and 85S was a handful as we bumped across the Wasatch Mountains.
 
Castle Rock in the Salt Lake of Utah Wendover airport (KENV)  95nm west of Salt Lake CityHaving crossed the State line from Colorado into Utah, we entered the Salt Lake territory. North of Ogden we skirted the Salt Lake City airspace and soon were descending over the great Salt Lake to the freshly surfaced runway of Wendover, Utah.

 
Old buildings at Wendover Airport

Though the terrain is barren, it is a worthwhile stop. The airport of Wendover has a very interesting history.  It was used as a training ground  at the time of WW II for the development of the atomic bomb and more recently for the filming of "Independence Day." We took our pictures and then took advantage of the low weekday hotel prices at one of the nearby casinos in Nevada. The Rainbow Casino has newly renovated rooms which are warm, inviting and large. After our two steak dinners for $14.00, we opened one our free rolls of nickels. With the second pull we cashed in. Breakfast would be on the house!

 
Approaching Ely (KELY) Nevada, from the NorthAfter a great rest, lots of good food and some luck in the casino, we continued south, skirting an active MOA and had a delightful flight to Ely, Nevada. Not too much going on there, but the people are VERY nice. We  chatted for a short time with the guys, took some more pictures and said our goodbyes.
 
Bryce Canyon, Utah

With no delay and fresh fuel in the tanks, we were off to our next destination of Marble Canyon in Arizona.  Along our route, we flew southeast of  Bryce Canyon with its shining bright colors and unique formations. Only a few years ago we had walked in the Canyon and were taken with its incredible beauty. We might add that on that trip we landed at Bryce Canyon airport which has a most wonderful FBO. The approach and departure were also super.

 
Vermillion Cliffs on the way to Marble Canyon

Approach from SW into Marble Canyon AZ (L41)The spectacular descent over the Colorado River and then along the ridge of the Vermillion Cliffs gave us an excellent introduction to the Grand Canyon area. The landing at Marble Canyon on the narrow, bumpy,  up and down  runway tested our skills and proved to be quite exciting.

 
Parking area at Marble Canyon (L41)

Moon rise over the Marble Canyon CliffsSpectacular landscape and very warm temperatures for October, greeted us. We chocked the plane with large rocks, wrapped it up and walked slowly with our gear to the Lodge. After a refreshing ice tea, we walked down the street to see the two bridges over the steep banks of the Colorado River. Wow!

Soon the orange sun set and the full white moon rose over the cliffs of Marble Canyon, giving relief to the sun scorched land. The moonlight walk down the runway was a refreshing change to the sizzling temperatures of the day. An hour later after taking countless breathtaking pictures, we called it a day and soon were in dreamland.

 
 
 
 

 

Visit our other Trips
Santa Fe Boulder - Santa Fe - Boulder (roundtrip 600nm = 1120 km)
Aspen Daytrip to Aspen ( roundtrip 200nm = 360 km)
Westcoast Loop:  part 1 Boulder - Prescott - Palm Springs - San Diego - Napa (1130nm = 2100 km)
Westcoast Loop:  part 2 Napa - Portland - Kalispell - Billings - Boulder ( 1580nm = 2930 km total 2710nm = 5030 km)
Pittsburgh Boulder - San Joseph - Indianapolis - Pittsburgh - Des Moines - Boulder ( 2360nm = 4370 km)
Cleveland Boulder - Salina - St. Louis - Cleveland - Cincinnati - Kansas City - Boulder ( 2410nm = 4467 km)
Four State Swing: part 1 Boulder - Dutch John - Wendover - Ely - Marble Canyon
Four State Swing: part 2 Marble Canyon - Montrose - Boulder
 

 

 
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This page was last serviced on 20. March 2004