Day 29

States: wow, we're still in Utah
Total Miles: 7400 or so
Time Zones: 1, 4 total


We started the day by hiking around the White House campground area since it was pretty dark by the time we were settled in the night before. Supposedly there were archeological ruins and things, but we never saw any. After that, we packed up and headed to our next hike.

Buckskin Gulch is the longest slot canyon in the southwest. People travel from all over the world to hike the length of it, camping out a night right there inside the narrow gulch. We took what is called Wire Pass to get inside the Buckskin. Wire Pass had 3 narrows before reaching the Buckskin. Once we got into the gulch, we just hiked up it, seeing what was around the next bend. Since it's pretty dark in there and I apparently don't have a very steady hand, my pictures were mostly blurry. But I think you'll get a good idea of what a slot canyon is. I think the most important thing to learn about a slot canyon is that flash floods are pretty deadly. Just a quarter inch of rain somewhere out in the Buckskin's drainage basin would cause a flash flood to roar down the gulch killing everything in it's path (my pictures of animal bones, including and entire deer spine, are excluded). The tree and rock debris caught up in the gulch walls was a good 20+ ft above us giving us an idea of how high a flash flood would fill up the canyon.

After the Buckskin, we headed up to Zion NP to chat with the rangers about some backcountry hikes (many of which you need permits for). Since both the campgrounds were filled, we stayed in an RV/campground just outside the park for 2 days then inside the park for 2.

Weird people or weird shadows?

Chimneying down a narrow slot:

At the Buckskin, here's the warning you get. Would you want to spend 2 straight days in a narrow slot canyon with only a handful of escape routes it's entire length?

The Wire Pass starts out nice and sandy and flat:

Soon enough it gets a little more canyony:


Width - elbow to elbow:

Bird were constantly flying above us through the canyon. That would be a fun way to travel it.

And the Wire Pass opens up to the Buckskin:

Miles and miles of this narrow passage:

As with all of our hikes, there were lizards everywhere. This guy must have lost the end of his tail:

The combination of dark and light and the "glowing" sandstone was pretty awesome:

Debris left by the last flash flood:

It just goes on and on and on and on, but unfortunately we could not...

Our little campground in the "Wilderness" just outside of Zion NP. We'll be in the Zion area for the next 4 or so days:

Marathon day tomorrow, 3 hikes in 3 parks. Bryce, Kodachrome, Cedar Breaks.

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