Friday, September 30, 2011

Bryce Canyon Day 1

This morning we hiked a 3.5 mile loop into the amphitheater and back. We climbed down the Wall Street section of the Navajo Loop from Sunset Point and back up on the Queen’s Garden trail to Sunrise Point and back to our cabin. We’d never been on that section of the Navajo trail before, probably because it is frequently closed due to rock slides. The descent is on this great set of switchbacks,through a narrow section, and out down these stairs.I had promised myself I wouldn’t take many photos in Bryce since I have so many from our previous trip, but I couldn’t resist. It is so photogenic.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Headed for Bryce

Today we left the wonderful Slot Canyons Inn and headed for Bryce Canyon National Park. Along the way we stopped at Kodachrome Basin State Park, 7 miles south of Route 12. While it had some nice formations and great views, it wasn’t that different from other things we had seen.There were some nice-sounding hiking trails, but we overdid it hiking in the heat yesterday and just walked a bit on one trail. Then we drove to Mossy Cave, a turn-off just 4 miles east of Bryce and actually a part of the park. In 1890 Mormon pioneers began digging a 10-mile canal to divert water into this drainage, known as Water Canyon. The area has formations similar to the rest of Bryce Upon arriving in Bryce we checked into our wonderful cabin on the rim.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calf Creek

Today we hiked along Calf Creek (called that because ranchers used to bring newly weaned calves here where there was a source of water and walls on either side of the creek that guaranteed they couldn't wander) to the lower falls, a round-trip hike of about 5 miles. The scenery along the way was beautiful.
This pictograph was high on one of the cliffs overlooking the creek.
The falls was spectacular and the water was nice for soaking the feet and cooling off.
The drive was very scenic too.
This is a view of the Escalante River valley from Kiva Koffee House where we stopped for a late lunch after the hike.
And this is a typical view of the Escalante National Monument scenery with Route 12 winding through it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Devil's Garden

Today we explored Devil's Garden, another neat spot off Hole-in-the-Wall Road. We love the fantastic shapes
and the endless washes to explore.


This is one of the pictographs above Slot Canyons Inn. There is a dig that takes place near this spot every summer.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Escalante Slots

We spent most of today down Hole-in-the-Rock Road. We turned off onto a very rutted road (thank goodness for 4-wheel drive rental cars) to Dry Fork and some slot canyons. These are some views as we headed down the path to the bottom where the slots begin. We first investigated Peek-a-boo slot, but as we had feared, we couldn't get in. Here is W at the bottom of the 12 foot wall that must be climbed to get into the slot. W got up part way but there is no way I could have, so we gave up and headed for Spooky slot. As advertised, it was very tight in places. Knowing we had to go back the way we came, we stopped at the point where we would have had to climb up, and headed back out instead. We climbed up above the slot to explore and then walked to Dry Fork.It does not qualify as a slot, we are told (not narrow enough I guess), but it was very neat. We were too tired at this point to explore very far, but it goes on for miles.


This is the view from our balcony this morning. The stars are beautiful from there too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Around Slot Canyons Inn

After two long days, and another one planned for tomorrow, we decided to take it easy today. For exercise we hiked around behind Slot Canyons Inn rather than getting in the car again. Walking through terrain like this, we were headed for the top of this plateau. Here are some scenes along the way, including some beautiful fruiting prickly pear cactus. We scrambled through here and after another scramble we ended up on top. Here is a view of the inn from the cliff.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Drive to Escalante

The drive to Escalante was amazing. We drove through Capitol Reef National Parkthen through other fantastic scenery, arriving at Slot Canyons Inn in time for dinner. If I'd stopped to take photos along the way, we would never have made it.

More Goblin Valley

After lunch in a nice picnic shelter overlooking the valley, we hiked off another direction down to the desert floor with great views. Then back out via a dry stream bed.