This is just a short report about our trial to reach a region, called Bonal Springs, on the Paria Plateau. Darlene, Ken, Emily and Bob suggested this trail to us and we tried to make it this year in march. This is just to show, that you not only have to fight against deep sand on the plateau, sometimes you also have to fight against snow.

We started on a wonderful day in march 2010 on House Rock Valley Road.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

The road quality was not really good, but no probem for a SUV. Also the crossing at Buckskin Gulch needs to be done on the bypass route.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Far in the background you can see the Wire Pass trailhead region.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Soon we are passing the parking area at Wire Pass.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

After a few more miles we are reaching the turnoff to Coral Valley. In the background you can see, that there is still snow on the plateau, but we did not expect any problems.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

We are now moving along Coral Valley and later we are switching to a side trail. Soon we are passing a small cattle ranch.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Until now we just had a few small snowy spots. But after turning on to a smaller trail, the sand got deeper and the snow got higher.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

And the main direction went hill upward.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

The sand itself was wet and very compact, so that the sandy sections where easy to drive. Besides us, there just seemed to be some cows on the trail this year.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Here also a view backwards, to show the the slope of the trail.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

And here a view to the west. There also a lot of snow was visible.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

The snowy parts of the trail also got longer and we observed a major loss of traction on this spots.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Soon we arrived a steep hill climb, where we got stuck. The complete vehicle was centered on the snow and the four wheels were just spinning free.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

After 90 minutes of digging with shovel, using our hydraulic jack to lift up the car to put it on wooden boards and so on, we were able to get our vehicle free.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Here are some more pictures of our battle field:

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

After getting our SUV free, we went back to House Rock Valley Road. Here are some more pictures, taken on our way back.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Back on HRVR, on our way to US89A, we could see, that also the rim region stil had some snow.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Soon we met US89A and had an excellent view on the region, which we wanted to reach.

Bonal Springs Rim 2010, Vermilion Cliffs NM, AZ

Next year this trail is again on our list and we will try to reach the Vermilion Cliffs rim.

So everybody, who wants to go on the Paria plateau should not just observe the sand, also the snow needs to get some attention (just kidding).

And here is an overview of the area, we visited: