"Remote and lovely, Lick Wash is little visited and therefore quite the gem, since it features both beauty and solitude, a more and more rare combination in canyon country. Very exposed to sunlight, this hike is best in spring or fall, or at least best begun quite early in the day during the hotter months. The deeper you go into the canyon, the higher and more sculpted the walls get, until they rise up to 300 feet high and it seems as if you’re wandering through a natural Sistine Chapel. When golden light splashes onto the upper canyon walls, the sensuous curves stretching far above you are simply magnificent. Water usually flows through this little canyon, adding a sense of coolness along with the gently chiming sounds of the trickle passing over creek-smoothed cobblestones and sandy wash bottom. Cuts and curves and hollows and bulges play out in the walls, while the light, which sometimes reaches to the canyon bottom, gives almost perfect settings for even amateur photographers. A few pour-overs need to be negotiated around, but they are easily passable." Read more
"Lick Wash is one of many largely unknown, uncelebrated canyons carved into the remote White Cliffs of the Grand Staircase in southern Utah. What Lick Wash lacks in notoriety is compensated for by its incomparable beauty.
Begin the hike from the end of the spur road by walking down the rock-strewn wash. Bluffs of Navajo Sandstone, studded with ponderosa pines, rise ahead, and the wash seems to disappear between them. Soon you enter the sandstone-enveloped gorge, which quickly slots up, and you make your way ahead through the narrow slickrock corridor. Within minutes you reach a short fence that spans the gap between the canyon walls. Climb over or crawl through the fence, passing the only obstacle in the canyon. The canyon walls grow higher as you proceed, with smooth convex slopes of slickrock sweeping upward for hundreds of feet to the square-edged mesas above. Curved lines of cross-bedding on the slickrock shoulders reach to the base of fluted cliffs, decorated with dark black streaks and a brown patina of desert varnish. Ponderosa pines grow tall and straight at the base of the great cliffs and fringe the rims of the mesas above." Read more
"Ranging in elevation from 6,600 feet to 7,222 feet, the gently rolling surface of No Mans Mesa encompasses 1,788 acres of pristine relict vegetation virtually untouched by human hands. No Mans Mesa, bounded by the White Cliffs of the Grand Staircase, halfway between US 89 and the Pink Cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park, is the only large mesa in the Grand Staircase completely isolated from its surroundings. Bounded by 600- to 800-foot cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, the mesa rises up to 1,200 feet above the sagebrush-studded valleys that encircle it.
The concentration of native grasses on the mesa is unmatched in other areas of southern Utah. Even to the amateur botanist, the contrast between the vegetation on No Mans Mesa and much of the rest of southern Utah, which has been utilized for grazing and other activities for more than one hundred years, is remarkable. Few mammals and only one species of lizard have been observed on the mesa, though a variety of birds visit the woodlands and sagebrush parks." Read more