Debra Van Winegarden

Position: Special to The Herald

A tour of Capitol Reef’s Grand Wash in Utah

Capitol Reef National Park protects and encloses the 100 mile-long Waterpocket Fold, a massive warping of the earth’s crust. The giant buckle is a sleeping rainbow of stacked sedimentary strata....

DATE: Oct. 13, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Circle Engineer Mountain for autumn splendor

Every autumn, I have to spend at least one full day drenched in color. I hike in late September when the aspen are putting out peak wattage, the forest floor glows and the sky is clear all day. A...

DATE: Sept. 15, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Redcloud, Sunshine attractive Colorado fourteeners, but Sundog scramble deserves its due

T here must be something extra special, even magical about Colorado’s 54 peaks above 14,000 feet. They sure do command the attention of admiring throngs. Two of the popular giants are relatively...

DATE: Aug. 25, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Historic Highline to the Shark’s Tooth

The beautifully engineered Sharkstooth Trail is a section of the Historic Highline Loop. It was designated a National Recreation Trail in 1979 because of its extraordinary scenic value. Traverse...

DATE: Aug. 4, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Endlich span: Sheridan Mountain to Crevasse

Walk on top of the world across gently rolling and expansive tundra. Sheridan Mountain resides at the northern end of Endlich Mesa which straddles the Florida River and Vallecito Creek drainages....

DATE: July 21, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Helmet Peak: La Plata Mountains outlier

After a typical winter and by mid-June, the La Plata Mountains are free of snow, lupine are going crazy, snow buttercups are glossy yellow and columbine are just about ready to dominate. Not yet...

DATE: June 23, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Twin Buttes, singular experience

Driving into Durango from points west, the Twin Buttes are landmarks that signal arrival home. While the Twin Buttes Development is ramping up, the buttes and surrounding trails remain open to the...

DATE: May 21, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Southern Utah’s Cobra Arch a true snake charmer

Cobra Arch is a venomous stone snake, striations down the length of its body, eyes keeping watch from its elegant, hooded head. The statuesque span of Navajo Sandstone frames a Utah-blue skylight...

DATE: April 21, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Honing the wild edge: Pautsky Point and Crader Ridge

Begin on familiar in-town trails and discover two treasures in Durango’s undomesticated backyard. Pautsky Point, a sweet prize for a relatively small effort, is suitable for families and...

DATE: April 1, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Sabino Canyon, Sonoran waterscape

For a warm and sunny spring break, join a deep field of Tucson residents launching into the Sonoran at the edge of their desert city. Enjoy the communal experience at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area...

DATE: Feb. 23, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

The Inselberg cyclonic sand pit

The largest cylindrical sandstone weathering pit on Earth, unknown but to a few, lies within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Geologists informally refer to this singular landform...

DATE: Jan. 26, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Death Valley: Land of eternal thirst

The beauty of the austere, scorched landscape of Death Valley is expressed in sparsity. Average annual precipitation on the floor of Death Valley is 1.86 inches. In July, the mean maximum...

DATE: Jan. 5, 2017 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

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