Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region
by Ron Adkison (Falcon Guides)
© Ron Adkison/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The first part of this is a bit boring, but boy that changes in a hurry. It goes from a wide-non-descript wash to a narrow canyon in a flash. This would be a great way to introduce kids to the canyons. Plus, the brief glimpse of history with the Petroglyphs at the end is a wonderful addition.
Found this to be a wonderful and easy hike and the slot canyon is beautiful inside. Once inside the slot, there are a couple of areas where you have to climb down some boulders, but if you are in reasonably good shape, you should have no problem. At 5'5", I was able to manage the boulders, however, two ladies that were with us have some leg problems and, unfortunately, were not able to make the climb. We were not able to walk through Buckskin Gulch due to recent rains that left it very muddy, but Wirepass was great and the confluence with Buckskin Gulch was wonderful and included some petroglyphs on the canyon walls. All in all, it was a great hike and worth going to see.
The rangers told us about the trail and gave us a map to get to the trailhead. No map needed for the trail itself as it's easy to follow the dry wash to the canyon.
It was a hot hike through the wash to the canyon -- no shade -- but well worth the trek as the slot canyons are some of the most beautiful features I've ever seen.
In the canyons, a group of boy scouts were informally creating rock "bridges" through the stagnant water pools. The water was deeper than our hiking boots. Bring a bandanna -- the stagnant water has an acrid smell.
The 6- to 7-foot drops through the slot canyons were navigatable with our group of four. It was helpful to have a boost when going back up but it was not as challenging as the rangers had warned. We saw our only snake (a 5- to 6-foot garder) during our two weeks of hiking in the desert southwest. I would recommend this trail, especially if you're looking for a quick, fascinating day hike.
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