Exploring Southern Utah by Airplane


This is an older story!

We started flying over southeastern Utah in the late 1990ies. It was my wife´s idea to get a better picture about the features and where these are located.

In 2001 we met Tim Martin from LaSal aka "The Flying Cowboy" and had a first flight with him. Inpressive! He knows everything about flying over the area and how to approach points of interest. In 2006 we planned something larger. A flight from Moab Canyonlands Airfield along the Colorado River down to the northern Arizona and back again. Tim calculated between 3 and a half and 4 hours. That sets the price tag.

At first we didn't know that TIm was the guy who flew through a number of arches. As he told us some time later he also said "Don't ask for that, I'll risk my license doing it with paying customers!" We didn't!

Starting at the Canyonlands Airfield we reached the river not far away from Deadhorse Point, followed it more or less down to Page turned around over Coyote Butte flying eastward over the north shore of Lake Powell. At the Dirty Devil River we took a more northern direction to go over Buckacre Point and from there back to Cataract Canyon. Again along the River we returned to the Moab Canyonlands Airfield.

I will not write much text about the flight. The pictures are self-explanatory. Pictures were taken with two cameras, a digital one and an analog one on slide film. Some pics are technically limited (reflections, not always 100% focussed, sometimes shifting colors througt tinted Windows.)

More about flying over Canyon Country: Cross Country Flying written in German. Due to the number of pictures the story will come in several "chapters".

Tim Martin and his plane - Moab Canyonlands Airfield

Waiting for the pilot - notice the limited space.

Determination Towers - sorry something missed!

Another analog picture

Bull Canyon System

Approaching White Rim - so called Airport Tower middle left

Lathrop and Buck Canyon

The Loop

Colorado River - Green River Confluence

Confluence again

Canyonlands Maze District: The Doll House

Waterhole Flat and Gunsight Butte

UT 95 and Colorado River Bridge near Hite

North Wash

White Canyon

White Canyon

Glen Canyon

Castle Butte

Ticaboo Canyon

Good Hope Mesa

Tapestry Wall

Forgotten Canyon

Moqui Canyon

The Rincon

The Rincon

To be continued.....


Beautiful pics! Next trip to Moab we're going to have to do this! From time-to-time I get to sit left seat in an A-Star or in the back of C206 with the big observation window . It's nice back there with just one seat and all that room taking pictures, sitting in a chair mounted to a Lazy Susan!


Some amazing photos. I've wondered what was on top of some of those places when boating by them. I guess now I know.


Exploring Southern Utah by Airplane: Chapter 2

Chapter 2:

Hole in the Rock

Nearly half of the way down is now covered by water.

Reflection Canyon

North of Navajo Mountain. The trail leading to Rainbow bridge is visible even in the picture is technically mediocre.

Several views of Rainbow Bridge.

Tim circled three times with the plane.

Forbidding Canyon

Navajo Point and Driftwood Canyon

Teddys Horse Pasture and Dangling Rope Marina

Propeller killers

Wetherill Canyon

Drowned Goosenecks of the Colorado River

Last Chance Bay

Dominguez and Padre Buttes

The Channel - Castle Rock Cutoff is dry and impassable

Too much window reflechtions - Upper Antelope Canyon

Glen Canyon Dam

No hit of Bulls Eye: Horseshoe Bend

Paria River Canyon

Vermilion Cliffs

Marble Canyon

Approaching Coyote Butte

More to come....


Chapter 3:

Coyote Butte is a very special feature located at the Arizona - Utahb oder Line. One of these where looking down from a plane gives not necessarely the better view - it's a different one.

Coyote Butte North

This is where the Wave is located. Even if the Wave itself is not easy visible the colorful structures are awesome.

Buckskin Gulch and Paria River Canyon. Some kind of a slot confluence.

Nipple Bench north of Big Water

Stud Horse Point

Lone Rock and Wahweep Marina

Wiregrass Canyon. The Cliffs are Called Mustard Cliffs. Must be due to the color.

Alstrom Point

Little Alstrom Point

Gooseneck Point

Rock Creek

Dry Rock Creek

Little Arch Canyon

Balanced Rock Canyon below Navajo Point

Reflection Canyon

Mouth of San Juan River

Mouth of Llewellyn Gulch (more to the rigt on the left side of the River) and Cottonwood Canyon opposite to Hole in the Rock

Llewellyn Gulch

More to come....


Chapter 4:

Again Hole in the Rock

On the other side Cottonwood Canyon where the Mormons carried on. The Chute was the next obstacle.

Escalante River

Stevens Arch from the South

Stevens Arch from the North

East of Stevens Arch

Stevens Canyon

Waterpocket Fold

Moqui Canyon

Crystal Springs Canyon

Easy to see how much sediments the water contains!

Forgotten Canyon

Cedar Canyon

Ticaboo Canyon

Castle Butte and Blue Notch Canyon

Scorup Canyon

Farley Canyon


Cataract Canyon, mouth of the Dity Devil River and the UT 95 bridge

Red Benches

Fiddler Cove Canyon

Hatch Canyon

Hatch Canyon and Dirty Devil River

Hatch Canyon and Gunsight Butte

Tim Martin flew through the right gap so deep that we had cliffs on both sides of the airplane.

To be continued......


Chapter 5:

Colorado/Green River Confluence

Colorado River: The Loop

near Horsethief Canyon

Buck Canyon and White Rim

Gooseneck and Deadhorse Point

The Gooseneck and "Thelma and Louise - Point"

The end!


Oh man Iv'e been down in most all of that stuff, just not nearly enough! Thanks for posting, now I have to burn more gas, good thing it's cheap right now.

I was on Dark Canyon Mesa a couple of years ago, way out Sweet Alice Road, and saw a plane strapped down next to a primitive runway. It looked like there were three people aboard and I followed their tracks for a while, down into Lean-to Canyon -fun stuff! The runway is built right through the remains of a village ...


A second look to my maps showed me that we were on Sweet Alice Road maybe 18 years ago. We made it to Fable Valley.

At first I have mistaken this name as a location near or in Sweet Alice Canyon behind Tea Pot Rock in the Maze and I wondered about the remains of a village. Now I know better.
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