We had a short camping trip to southern Utah for fall break. None of our kids were able to come, but the Pauls, Muirs, Stewarts and Scott Thayn family attended. It was a little cold for this trip. We saw a few patches of snow on the ground, but as long as the sun was out during the day, it was warm. However, as soon as the sun went down in the evening, it got cold fast.
Eva and I left home first and were able to get a camping spot on Hancock Road, just north of Kanab. It was a little close to the road, but it was large enough for all the camping trailers. The rest of the group arrived throughout the evening, so we didn’t do much that evening.
Thursday morning we hiked the Peek-a-Boo slot canyon. Because it was fall break for the schools, everywhere was pretty crowded with a lot of families. The drive to the trailhead was full of deep sand, but we all made it fine. The hike was short, but fun.
After lunch we went to “Belly of the Dragon”. This is a drainage cave under the highway, but was carved from solid rock. It was fun to climb through and the kids all liked it.
Friday we left early to drive to Wire Pass. The trailhead was about 60 miles away near the Arizona border. We were amazed at the improvements at the trailhead. I had been there about 15 years ago and the parking area held about 10-15 cars. Now the parking lot was large and could probably hold over 100 cars. There were 30-40 cars there now and a lot of people in the canyon. We passed dozens of people in the canyon and at times it was too crowded.
Wire Pass is a short, but narrow slot canyon that leads into Buckskin Gulch, the world’s longest slot canyon at 17 miles long. We went into Wire Pass and after a short walk, we came to the only obstacle in the canyon. When we were there 15 years ago, it was a 3-4 foot drop off a large boulder. However, now the drop off was 8-10 feet and undercut below the boulder.
With our large group, we were able to get everyone down easily. After passing through the first section of narrows, we saw that there was now a by-pass trail to avoid the obstacle.
We hiked through Wire Pass to the intersection of Buckskin. After eating lunch we went down Buckskin until we hit knee deep water. We then turned around and hiked up Buckskin a ways. Wire Pass had deep canyon walls and is only 3-6 ft wide. Buckskin has deep canyon walls, but is wider than Wire pass. Both have really pretty sections.
After exploring for a while we retraced our path through Wire Pass back to the trailhead. We hiked about 6.2 miles through the canyons.
On Saturday, we went to Pink Coral Sand Dune State Park, about 10 miles from our campsite. The dunes are a light pink color and made of very fine sand. However, it was a windy and cold day. When you were on the dunes the sand was blowing everywhere. The kids had a wooden sled and they were able to ride it down the steep slopes of the dunes. It was too windy for me and Eva so after lunch we left for home. We were able to get home around 7 pm.
This will be our last van trip for a while. We will be putting the van in storage for 18 months while we go to Argentina.