Escalante & The Grand Staircase

We made our way across the southern portion of Utah as we heard about the Escalante area from a friend of ours & he recommended that we check it out.  He said we wouldn’t be disapppointed.  I’m glad we listened to our favorite Vita Mix sales guy as he was absolutely correct.  We  stopped for lunch at an overlook that viewed the Colorado River as it enters Lake Powell.  A gentleman that stopped was telling us that they had just completed the big drain.  Curious, I asked what he meant.  He said that every few years, they drain a significant portion of Lake Powell so that it simulates a flash flood down river into the Grand Canyon.

Lake Powell

As we continued on, we began to feel a little unsure of Josh’s recommendation as we made the first decent into Escalante.  The hills were grey sand and while it looked like an ATVer’s paradise, it wasn’t exactly what we had in mind.

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We thought that surely this wasn’t it so we continued on and we crossed over the top of the pass and then the canyons below came into view.  This is much better!

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We settled in and began exploring all that the area had to offer.  We found in several locations that it seemed like a flat, semi desert location was all that you would see.  However, once you hiked in a bit, the canyons revealed themselves and it was as if you were in a different world from where you started.

Here’s a couple of examples.  Down a wash that was hidden off of a dirt road it seemed as if nothing was there.  We hiked the trail and found the Wagon Wheel Natural Bridge hidden down below.  This was a fantastic bridge and cave that we explored.

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This is a true example of just how powerful water can be.  In these photos you will see where the water started.  Whenever they receive thunderstorms, the sand cannot absorb the water so it basically causes a massive flash flood.  Roads are washed out all over the area and these floods last for about 8-10 hours.

This particular bridge had the water start up above and you can see where it eroded holes in the rocks and eventually another bridge will form.  For now, however, it then flows off the ledge and down into the cave and over to the bridge, pretty amazing!

 

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Next, we have the Cedar Wash arch.  This took some serious searching but we finally found it.  We followed what we thought was the correct trail and hiked up and over a series of rock cliffs for quite some time and we were a bit confused as to where this arch was at.  Finally, we came around a bend and saw the arch on the complete opposite end of where we were at.  Once we hiked the trail back, we found the correct trail about 15ft from the truck, oops!  Oh well, it was a great hike, a lovely evening and we all enjoyed ourselves.

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