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Zloi
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Joined: 30 Sep 2009
Posts: 111 | TRs | Pics
Location: Burien, bum magnet of the NW
Zloi
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PostSat Dec 10, 2022 12:21 pm 
I have been wanting to get into the Maze for years. Now it appears to be getting almost popular, which, like a lot of the desert SW, is too bad because it is a very fragile area and can't really put up with the kind of crowds we see on the trails here. Unfortunately, great TRs like this one only make us all want to drop what we are doing and head down there. Not that I am blaming you. Some of your photos need to go into a coffee-table book! Thanks for sharing, and maybe some day your route description will come in handy for me. It's just sad at the same time that, once an area is 'discovered' the experience of it almost ipso facto changes. I've gotten to where, if I find someplace really special that I want to keep special, I don't post about it online. But it's also hard not to share.

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John Morrow
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Joined: 03 Apr 2007
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Location: Roslyn
John Morrow
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PostSat Dec 10, 2022 12:58 pm 
Zloi wrote:
I have been wanting to get into the Maze for years. Now it appears to be getting almost popular, which, like a lot of the desert SW, is too bad because it is a very fragile area and can't really put up with the kind of crowds we see on the trails here. Unfortunately, great TRs like this one only make us all want to drop what we are doing and head down there. Not that I am blaming you. Some of your photos need to go into a coffee-table book! Thanks for sharing, and maybe some day your route description will come in handy for me. It's just sad at the same time that, once an area is 'discovered' the experience of it almost ipso facto changes. I've gotten to where, if I find someplace really special that I want to keep special, I don't post about it online. But it's also hard not to share.
While I struggle with planning and needing permits for backcountry travel like many of us, I am in full support of the Maze District quota of 5 overnight backpacking permits per day issued for the entire area including the Orange Cliffs. I felt there was lots of room to spread out at that level of permits. That said, so many other areas of southern Utah are, indeed, feeling overrun during peak spring and fall hiking seasons. It scares me too. Prehistoric sites, biotic soils, vegetation, solitude all in jeopardy. I deal internally with the same posting dilemmas. While I haven't dropped off 100%, I am limiting my contributions to the blogosphere to not contribute to the overuse too much.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” ― MLK Jr.
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graywolf
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Posts: 782 | TRs | Pics
Location: Sequim
graywolf
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PostSat Dec 10, 2022 4:47 pm 
John Morrow wrote:
I deal internally with the same posting dilemmas. While I haven't dropped off 100%, I am limiting my contributions to the blogosphere to not contribute to the overuse too much.
I agree. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I've posted a trip report here - I'll have to look. ETA: I've posted five trip reports.

The only easy day was yesterday...
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Matt Lemke
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Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 2045 | TRs | Pics
Location: Grand Junction
Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors
PostSat Dec 10, 2022 5:12 pm 
The Maze is one of my all time favorite places. I took my station wagon all the way to the top of the flint trail switchbacks many years ago. I'd absolutely love to go back again. Your photos are professional magazine quality as usual.... way better than mine!

The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!! SummitPost Profile See my website at: http://www.lemkeclimbs.com
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Jason Hummel
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Tacoma Washington
Jason Hummel
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PostMon Dec 12, 2022 2:56 pm 
Zloi wrote:
I have been wanting to get into the Maze for years. Now it appears to be getting almost popular, which, like a lot of the desert SW, is too bad because it is a very fragile area and can't really put up with the kind of crowds we see on the trails here. Unfortunately, great TRs like this one only make us all want to drop what we are doing and head down there. Not that I am blaming you. Some of your photos need to go into a coffee-table book! Thanks for sharing, and maybe some day your route description will come in handy for me. It's just sad at the same time that, once an area is 'discovered' the experience of it almost ipso facto changes. I've gotten to where, if I find someplace really special that I want to keep special, I don't post about it online. But it's also hard not to share.
Thanks for the thoughts. I agree with this, and debated about sharing here. I shared nowhere else outside my personal page. That said, I do watch how much activity the report gets, and there's no key works on this report to bring people to it. The report has only gotten a few hundred clicks so its impact is small. I do get bummed about not sharing reports, as I go on many great backpack trips a year, and there are at least 5 trips just in September and October I would've wanted to do reports on, but didn't for the very reason you suggest above.

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Bruce Albert
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Joined: 01 Sep 2007
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Bruce Albert
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PostMon Dec 12, 2022 11:09 pm 
After looking through your excellent photos I dug out and re-read two favorite essays: Edward Abbey's account of the Maze in Desert Solitaire, and Chuck Pratt's The View From Deadhorse Point in the 1970 Ascent. This made for quite a journey in the mind, brought to life by your work with the camera. A brilliant climber and no slouch as a writer, Pratt had this to say about the southwestern desert: A desert environment is maintained by an irresistible force whose nature cannot be penetrated by superficial efforts. To gain any lasting worth from what the desert has to offer, we had to learn to put our pitons and ropes away and to go exploring in silence, keeping our eyes very open. We wasted a lot of time climbing until we got the knack...The horizons beyond Four Corners strain the limits of vision and of imagination. The desert can be comprehended only in its detail for we are dealing with the sea.

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Eric Hansen
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Joined: 23 Mar 2015
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Location: Wisconsin
Eric Hansen
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PostTue Dec 13, 2022 9:48 am 
+1 on concern for what increased tourist traffic means for southern Utah. I spent a lot of time there in the early 90's and remember car camping along the House Rock Valley Road (i.e. near The Wave). We saw no other vehicles or people on the road, nor on our day hikes. Now, there is a lottery for a permit to enter The Wave district. Big changes.

Off trail rambler
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Zloi
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Joined: 30 Sep 2009
Posts: 111 | TRs | Pics
Location: Burien, bum magnet of the NW
Zloi
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PostTue Dec 13, 2022 10:22 am 
In 2000 I was lucky enough to get a permit to hike into the Wave. They were giving out 10 permits a day at that time. Some German tourists got some of them. I have nothing whatsoever against German tourists, mind you, but it underscores the reality that when an area is unique enough to gain international renown the visitation pressure grows exponentially. This will become an even greater issue in future as human populations, ease of mobility and digital communication all expand. I guess that means we will be seeing Enchantments' kind of access restrictions on a widespread scale, or else risk trashing the very areas whose uniqueness makes them so compelling.

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