This was quite possibly the funnest day we had. The advice we got was to go to the Visitors Center before heading out to the canyons. We got detailed maps and also learned the current conditions. They did not expect a flash flood that day (which is important to know as you do not want to get caught in one in a slot canyon!)We took Hole In The Rock Road just outside of Escalante for 27 wash-board miles until we came to the Dry Fork Road turn-off.
The next 1.7 miles were like roads we had traveled on in Africa! We wished we had brought our pick-up instead of our car. Bumpety, bumpety!!
We parked the car at the trail head and then began our hike.
Oh my goodness.
You follow the cairned trail down to the bottom of the canyon. In case you don't know, cairns are piles of rock that mark the path so you don't get lost. You can see a couple of cairns to the right.This picture does not begin to show you the steep climb down from the top!
You can spot a couple more cairns.
Here is the bottom of the canyon. Very sandy.
There are four canyons at the bottom to explore. We explored three of them. The fourth one had a 10-foot drop off and we didn't have the means to be able to climb back out. One hiker who did not have climbing gear was stranded here for 8 days!!
Dry Fork Gulch
This is not a tight slot canyon and you can wander up this narrow canyon and dry wash bottom for several miles. We didn't go real far, maybe a mile or so.
This one was so much fun, but it got very, very tight. Not too many are able to navigate the whole thing. And you do NOT want to get stuck. We heard about one guy who was stuck for 3 days in one gulch until he was finally able to squeeze out! Reminds me of the Winnie-the-Pooh story!
When we got out, we stopped for lunch.
A desert bloom
Peek-a-boo is a hanging canyon. You can try to climb up into it (12 feet up - see the foot holds in the rock?) but we were told to hike up around and to the top and drop into it.
That ended up pretty scary for me as we had to jump across a part of the canyon to where you could climb in and to me it looked like I might fall 20 feet. It wasn't, but that's what it looked like to me!!! Al says it was just a step across, but it looked more like a mile!
There was a pool of water in one spot but someone had put a log there to help you slide onto it and work your way to the next ledge so you wouldn't get wet. We had to wiggle and squeeze our way through this canyon. Our clothes were very filthy from brushing across the sandstone walls. Showers back at Slot Canyon Inn were a must at the end of the day!