Day 628: Escalante Slot Canyons and Mormons in Wagons

This morning, Trish went into town to buy some groceries.  She visited the llama living across the street:

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We drove south on Hole in the Rock Trail to the trailhead for Spooky and Peek-A-Boo canyons:

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We started hiking towards the canyons:

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After a couple miles, we reached the mouth of Spooky Canyon:

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The canyon quickly grew narrow:

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…And more narrow:

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Eventually we came to a rock fall that forced us to go up eight feet or so:

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Once out of the hole, the canyon became more shallow:

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Once out of the canyon, we hiked west to find the top end of Peek-A-Boo Canyon, which is the next canyon over:

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Peek-A-Boo starts out shallow on the top end:

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…Then becomes a slot canyon:

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After exiting Peek-A-Boo Canyon, we explored a nearby wash, which was not as narrow but had much higher walls:

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We then hiked back to the truck:

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On the drive out, we said hello to our free-range neighbors:

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Our next stop was Dance Hall Rock, where the Mormon pioneers of the San Juan Expedition held dances on the smooth sandstone under the natural alcove in the rock:

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Trish spotted a lizard on the rock to the right:

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We continued south, and the road became very rough and difficult.  At last we reached the Hole in the Rock, where the San Juan Expedition widened this natural crevice in order to get their wagons down the 1200 vertical feet to the Colorado River, where they crossed to the east side:

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We started down:

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Here’s what it looked like back in the day:

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When the “road” was completed in 1880, this canyon was filled in to make a smooth grade down to the river.  In other portions, a raised roadway was built on top of poles that extended from wall to wall:

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All of that is gone now, so it’s even tougher going:

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We went down about halfway.  Where we see modern-day Lake Powell, the San Juan Expedition would have seen the Colorado River snaking through the canyon far below:

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Heading back up:

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We passed a nursing calf on the way home:

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We returned to the RV shortly before sunset:

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See the trip map for today’s drive.

Day 627: Relocating to Escalante
Day 629: Hike to Zebra and Tunnel Canyons

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