We planned on spending two very long days in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park, and this would be the first day. They had to be long days because the trails were all very long and it was a great distance to get into the Maze through Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. We met in Hanksville and headed south, all the way to Hite and the trailhead for Cove Canyon. The weather was perfect, and it promised to be a scenic and fun day.
We stopped at the kiosk to check out the map, and it looked like our plan would work. We'd do a few trails with Flint Trail in the middle, our real destination. It was still pretty early when we got started.
Cove Canyon was very scenic but very long as we wound our way around the cliff bases. We really liked the skinny and hugely tall mesa end that the trail took us around, but everything was pretty. We kept going, and soon got to the intersection with Lands End.
It had been an easy road so far, but the portion of the trail after Lands End wasn't as maintained. It was still pretty easy, though, until it headed into a wash. There were bits of the trail with river rocks in them, and some were fun to get over. The trail got more and more narrow, and soon we were at the base of a hill.
The hill wasn't maintained at all, and we weren't sure what to expect so Monica walked up it to check things out. The trail got wider after the first climb, so we all went up the hill. We made our way to the top of The Cove until we came to a flat and wide area where a few trails went in a few directions. It was a big crossroads.
We broke out the maps and noticed right away that we could spend some time exploring up on that mesa. After talking about it for a bit, we decided to head back down, saving that exploring for another day. We still had a long day ahead of us, after all.
Making our way back to the intersection with Lands End was fun, and it didn't take long. Cove Canyon was a great trail, but we were looking forward to getting farther into The Maze.