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Finally made it to Canyon Country

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the great state of Utah, from the alpine peaks to the desert slots. Please post partners requests and trip plans here or in the Utah Climbing Partners section.
 

Finally made it to Canyon Country

Postby ExploretheWorld » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:17 pm

Hi there Summitpost---just getting in from my first night in Las Vegas (yes, it's 7:15 am) heading out to Zion Lodge for a couple days and then floating the river in dories with the family. I purchased Robert Fillmore's Geologic Evolution of the Colorado Plateau for an introductory guide but I am seeking the advice of seasoned southwesternerers on choice spots in the the four corners region to check out by car with my family over the next week or so. Would like to see the Upheaval Dome and some classic slot canyons or areas that typify this region geologically and texturally and would like to be able to access some areas by car that could be cool. Any recommendations would be much appreciated. THANKS!

NICK
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Re: Finally made it to Canyon Country

Postby Clark_Griswold » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:39 am

Yeah, avoid Canyon Country 106.7 FM, their music stinks! I'm not a country fan.



If you are looking to road side view geology, Zion is a winner, as are the other Parks like Bryce and the Grand (but the north rim isn't as good for viewing the ditch). Some interesting spots are Echo Cliffs on US 89, Sedona, AZ, Horse-Shoe Bend on the Colorado by Page, AZ, and Cedar Breaks N.M. in Utah. You'll find that car viewing is pretty much everywhere you drive on the Plataea. Look for Kaibab Limestone west of Zion. I forget the name of that area. Attend a geology ranger lecture at Zion, if you can, unless the book explains basic area geology well enough for you.
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Re: Finally made it to Canyon Country

Postby lcarreau » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:40 pm

Beware - you won't be able to view many of the actual "slot canyons" unless you're prepared to leave the car and actually descend DOWN into them.

I think 'Lionel' was talking about the KALOB CANYONS area of Zion NP. Don't see a problem if you stick to the trails. Be aware that people have lost their
lives in the slot canyons, due to flash flooding episodes and total lack of experience and/or equipment.

And, don't forget BRYCE Canyon and Capitol Reef and Monument Valley - great places to view stuff from the road and let your jaw drop wide open.
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Re: Finally made it to Canyon Country

Postby Stu Brandel » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:00 pm

I have some proven kid winners that worked for me. If you are at Zion Lodge and want to do quick easy hikes with kids I think you ought to do:

1) Zion Narrows from the end of the bus shuttle to as far up as you want to go past the end of the paved trail- dress to get wet - it is more fun the further you go in. A MUST DO.
2) Canyon Overlook Trail - quick and fun right off the road. Good views for little efort.
3) Stop somewhere on the east side of park and 'explore' the slick rock.

After leaving Zion, one day at Bryce doing Wall Street Trail (MUSTDO with kids) plus other trails or overlooks is fun. Kodachrome basin is nearby - take trail to the cave. Ifyour car can take it, travel Cottonwood Canyon raod to Grosenvor Arch. North Rim of Grand Canyon has some small hikes near overlooks that are scenic.
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Re: Finally made it to Canyon Country

Postby Scott » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:28 pm

In Zion, perhaps the only real slot canyon that is easy to get to is Echo Canyon from the bottom. You can get there from Weeping Rock.

You can see the bottom end without ropes:

http://www.summitpost.org/echo-canyon/300948

Also consider the Wire Pass near the Paria and some of the slots around Escalante (Egypt 3, Peekaboo, Spooky, and Brimstone Gulches), but get an early start in order to get into the slots before the heat sets in. If you get an early start, they should be somewhat reasonable in summer. Not far from Bryce are Bull Valley Gorge, Willis Creek and Round Valley Draw which are reasonable in summer. Strenuous, but not technical.

Upheaval Dome will be brutally hot this time of year if you are hiking. Personally, I would wait until October unless you just want to see it from the road.

Some really good areas in summer:

Bryce Canyon (a bit hot in the afternoons), Cedar Breaks and Calf Creek Falls (near Escalante). Around Moab (If you do go to Upheaval Dome), try the La Sal Mountains, Mill Creek, Negro Bill Canyon and Professor Creek. Most other places will be brutally hot.
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Re: Finally made it to Canyon Country

Postby Buz Groshong » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:52 am

For slot canyons, Peekaboo and Spooky are the best you'll find. I'll second hiking up the Virgin River (all day hike) from the end of the road in Zion. Best car ride is heading from Escalante toward Boulder and then taking the Burr Trail (a road) over to the Bullfrog Nottam Road and then north up to Capitol Reef. The Island in the Sky at Canyonlands is also a good place to see some great scenery.
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